Japanese cryptocurrency exchange suffers $60M USD theft

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Zaif is the thirty-fifth largest cryptocurrency exchange by turnover

A hacker or hacker group has stolen the amount of ¥6.7B ($60M USD) in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Monacoin from Zaif, the 35TH largest cryptocurrency exchange, as reported by specialists in ethical hacking from the International Institute of Cyber Security. This stock exchange is owned by Tech Bureau, Corp, headquartered in Nishi-Ku, Osaka, Japan.

It is believed that the attack occurred on September 14 after hackers gained access to different wallets of the stock exchange and transferred the stolen funds to their own online wallets. What is worse is that Tech Bureau was not aware of the security incident until Monday, September 17, which allowed hackers to cover their tracks.

One of the tweets published by Zaif after the incident suggests that the stock exchange discovered the incident during an investigation related to a server failure and urged users not to make any withdrawal or deposit of their assets until a new notice.

Despite the fact that the security incident was reported to the local police, all the exchange transactions, as withdrawals and deposits have been suspended. According to experts in ethical hacking, “the Japan Financial Services Agency (FSA) would carry out emergency controls in the administration of clients’ assets after the robbery”.

Earlier this year, regulators linked the Tech Bureau with two commercial improvement orders, which means that this new incident could mean a heavy blow to the company.

It is unclear how hackers managed to bypass Zaif’s security measures, but this is not the first time that a cryptocurrency exchange platform in Japan suffers a security breach. In January this year, Coincheck, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan and Asia, was hacked and as a result, hackers stole ¥58B ($534M USD) in the virtual currency Nemu.

Likewise, according to specialists in ethical hacking, in 2014, Mt. Gox Bitcoin Exchange suffered a cyber attack in which 850k Bitcoin units were stolen. The company used to manage around 80% of Bitcoin operations in the world, but ended up bankrupt.