Former CEO of Tron and long-time cryptocurrency entrepreneur and an investor in HTX Justin Sun confirmed the incident.
“HTX and Heco Cross-Chain Bridge Undergo Hacker Attack. HTX Will Fully Compensate for HTX’s hot wallet Losses. Deposits and Withdrawals Temporarily Suspended,” Sun said in a post on X.
Crypto exchanges are usually prone to attacks from hackers and other bad actors. Throughout the history of crypto, top exchanges have come under attack at various points, many of which have not yet recovered, such as Mt Gox.
For HTX, the hack was first spotted by blockchain cybersecurity firm Cyver. According to CoinDesk, the experts at the firm noticed a suspicious transfer of $85 million and decided to investigate. The team had reasons to believe that the theft resulted from leaked private keys.
The attackers then used the keys to access the bridge between Ethereum and Heco Chain, leading to the theft. The firm said it could not ascertain the exact value of assets stolen because of the volatility of crypto assets, nor could it determine the precise tokens stolen.
The firm is still conducting investigations and is yet to come up with final conclusions on the extent of damage.
Sun Blamed for Incident
Justin Sun has had a number of experiences with hackers, and this isn’t the first time that HTX has come under attack. The exchange was attacked in October, leading to hackers stealing $8 million worth of Ether at the time.
Poloniex, another exchange in which Sun is a major shareholder also came under attack less than a month ago, resulting in the loss of $115 million in assets. With these recurring attacks on crypto exchanges Sun is affiliated with, members of the crypto community are starting to suspect him.
“Either you are the hacker or you have some seriously lacking security measures and controls in your businesses. Either way I wouldn’t feel confident in holding any crypto in anything you control for the time being,” one Twitter user said in response to Sun’s tweet.
Other users suspect that Lazarus, a notorious North Korean hacking collective, could be behind the recent string of attacks, and advised Sun to listen to the experts he has access to.
“Lazarus loves to rekt you multiple times. It’s kinda one of their hallmarks. You miss a single one of their tiny toeholds and they’ll regain entry. You’re already in rooms with some of the best investigators who have been tracking Lazarus since 2017. LISTEN. TO. THEM.” another person said.
Customers Will be Reimbursed
As this is the second time HTX has come under attack, it is natural for customers to panic concerning their funds. However, Sun in the tweet stated that there was no need for such panic because everyone who was a victim of the hack will be fully reimbursed.
“All Funds in HTX Are Secure, and the Community Can Rest Assured. We are investigating the specific reasons for the hacker attack. Once we complete the investigation and identify the cause, we will resume services,” Sun assured.
This will go a long way in retaining the confidence of users in the exchange despite previous bad experiences, as the security of customer funds is paramount.