Hackers stole $60 Million worth of cryptocurrencies from Japanese Zaif exchange

Cybercriminals have stolen 6.7 billion yen ($60 million) worth of cryptocurrencies from the Japanese digital currency exchange Zaif exchange.

According to the Tech Bureau Corp., a Japanese cryptocurrency firm, hackers have compromised its Zaif exchange and have stolen 6.7 billion yen ($60 million) worth of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Monacoin, and Bitcoin Cash.

The stole digital currencies included roughly 2.2 billion yen belonged to Tech Bureau and 4.5 billion belonged to its clients.

The hacked have taked the control of the exchange for a couple of hours on Sept. 14, and illegally transferred coins form the “hot wallet” of the exchange to wallets under their control.

“Japanese cryptocurrency firm Tech Bureau Corp said about $60 million in digital currencies were stolen from its exchange, highlighting the industry’s vulnerability despite recent efforts by authorities to make it more secure.” reported the Reuters.

Three days later, operators at the exchange noticed server problems and publicly disclosed the hack on Sept. 18.

The Tech Bureau took offline the exchange and sold to Fisco Ltd the majority ownership for a 5 billion yen ($44.59 million) investment that would be used to replace the digital currencies stolen from client accounts.

“Documents seen by Reuters on Thursday showed Japan’s Financial Services Agency would conduct emergency checks on cryptocurrency exchange operators’ management of customer assets, following the theft. FSA officials were not immediately available for comment.” continues the Reuters.

This is the second hack suffered by a Japan’s crypto exchange this year, earlier January  Japan-based digital exchange Coincheck was hacked and crooks stole$530 million in digital coins.

Earlier this year, a problem at the Zaif exchange allowed some people to buy cryptocurrencies without paying.

Japan is considered a global leaked in cryptocurrency technologies, the Bitcoin could be used for payment in the country since April 2017 major retailers accept this kind of payments.

Experts believe that the cyber heist will affect the FSA’s ongoing regulatory review of the cryptocurrency industry.

Last year Japan became the first country to regulate cryptocurrency exchanges, they have to register with FSA and required reporting and other responsibilities.

Anyway, the incidents demonstrate that the level of security of exchanges has to be improved.



Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – Zaif exchange, hacking)


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