The aftermath of a significant security breach at cryptocurrency exchange CoinEx has taken an unexpected turn as the platform has chosen a path less travelled. In a surprising move, CoinEx has reached out to the hackers responsible for the attack, urging them to engage in dialogue and negotiate the return of stolen assets. Alongside this plea, CoinEx has dangled a substantial bug bounty as an enticement for the hackers to reconsider their actions.
Invitation to Dialogue: CoinEx’s Unconventional Approach
In an open letter penned on September 15th, CoinEx made a heartfelt appeal to the hackers behind the breach, emphasizing the lessons learned from the incident. The hack served as a stark reminder of the paramount importance of fortifying asset security within the platform. The letter, addressed directly to the hackers, emphasized the immense trust placed in CoinEx by millions of customers who rely on the exchange for their cryptocurrency transactions.
“We hope you recognize the impact of this event on each one of those users. We would appreciate it if you understand the concerns and frustrations of these affected users. We sincerely invite you to work with us to resolve this issue in a securer, more reasonable, and more user-friendly manner.”
CoinEx didn’t stop at just extending an olive branch; they sweetened the deal with the offer of a “generous bug bounty” should the stolen assets find their way back to the exchange. In a move that underscores their commitment to enhancing security, CoinEx also extended an invitation to the hackers to collaborate on upgrading the platform’s security system for the future.
The CoinEx Hack Unveiled
The breach in question occurred on September 12th, when attackers managed to siphon approximately $55 million from CoinEx’s hot wallets, as reported by blockchain security firm SlowMist. In the wake of the breach, the exchange promptly suspended all deposits and withdrawals, initiating a comprehensive investigation into the matter.
Lazarus Group’s Involvement and a Bigger Loss
Investigations led by on-chain analyst ZachXBT have attributed the attack to the Lazarus Group, a notorious North Korean-sponsored hacking entity. In a subsequent update, CoinEx revealed that their initial estimates of the financial damage were conservative. The platform now acknowledges that approximately $70 million was pilfered during the hack, a figure higher than previously disclosed. However, the exchange stressed that this represents only a fraction of its total assets.
Road to Recovery: CoinEx’s Pledge to Users
CoinEx remains committed to restoring normalcy but did not specify a precise timeline for the resumption of services. Withdrawals are expected to gradually reopen after rigorous security checks. The exchange is actively working on enhancing wallet architecture and collaborating with industry partners and peer exchanges to freeze suspicious addresses linked to the theft. CoinEx has also vowed to reimburse affected users in full.
“Currently, we focus on upgrading the wallet architecture, calculating losses, and freezing related suspicious addresses by coordinating with industry partners and peer exchanges. Regarding compensation plans for the stolen assets, we are now formulating options. The compensation will be provided per coin, with details to follow in our official announcements later.”
As CoinEx charts its path to recovery and endeavours to rebuild user trust, the cryptocurrency community watches with bated breath, eager to witness the outcome of this unconventional approach to a challenging situation.