Bitrue, a centralized cryptocurrency exchange founded in Singapore in 2018, has suffered another hack, losing around $23 million in various crypto assets due to a hot wallet flaw. In response, Bitrue has temporarily suspended all withdrawals until April 18th, when the exchange hopes to reopen withdrawals after implementing additional security measures.
The hot wallet exploit that led to the loss of funds accounted for less than 5% of the total funds on the exchange, according to Bitrue. Additionally, the exchange has promised to reimburse all affected users who can be identified.
The attacked hot wallet reportedly contained Ether, Shiba Inu, Quant, Gala, Holo, and Polygon. It’s not the first time Bitrue has been hacked; in 2019, the exchange lost over $5 million in Cardano due to a hot wallet hack.
Hackers have increasingly turned their attention to decentralized finance (DeFi) exchanges, according to data from Chainalysis. In Q1 2022, DeFi protocols accounted for almost 97% of all cryptocurrency stolen, up from 72% in 2021 and just 30% in 2020. Meanwhile, traditional centralized exchanges fell out of favor, receiving less than 15% of the total stolen assets.
Experts suggest this shift may be due to exchanges’ adoption of anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) processes, which make it more difficult for hackers to remain anonymous. DeFi exchanges, on the other hand, are still in the early stages of implementing such processes, making them a more attractive target for cybercriminals.
As the cryptocurrency market continues to grow and evolve, it’s clear that exchanges and investors alike must remain vigilant against the ever-present threat of hacks and cyberattacks.