Huobi Global’s HTX cryptocurrency exchange fell victim to a sophisticated cyberattack on September 24, as reported by blockchain analytics platform Cyvers. The breach resulted in the theft of a staggering $7.9 million worth of various cryptocurrencies.
Huobi Identifies Hacker and Offers Unique Resolution
The attack was first detected when a well-known Huobi hot wallet, associated with the exchange, sent an intriguing message to the attacker in Chinese. According to this message, the exchange claims to have identified the perpetrator and has offered an unusual proposition – if the attacker returns 95% of the pilfered funds, they will be entitled to retain 5% as a “white-hat bonus.”
At precisely 10:00 am UTC on September 24, the suspected Huobi hot wallet, with the address 0x2Abc22eb9A09EbBE7b41737CCde147F586EfeB6A, initiated a transaction sending 4,999 Ether, equivalent to roughly $7.9 million, to an address with no prior transaction history. This raised immediate alarms within the crypto community.
The following day, a separate wallet associated with Huobi reached out to the hacker in Chinese with a message that, when roughly translated via Google, read as follows:
“We have confirmed your true identity. Please return funds to 0x18709E89BD403F470088aBDAcEbE86CC60dda12e. We will provide you with a 5% white hat bonus. This offer is valid for 7 days and ends on October 2, 2023. If you do not return the funds by the deadline, we will request judicial intervention.”
Justin Sun Confirms Attack
Cyvers promptly reported the attack on September 25, and blockchain analytics platform Arkham Intelligence confirmed that the wallet sending the message indeed belongs to Huobi. This wallet is also listed on a Huobi support page as the property of the exchange.
Notably, Huobi Global investor Justin Sun acknowledged the breach on the morning of September 25. In a tweet, Sun stated: “HTX @HTX_Global has suffered a loss of 5,000 #Eth ($8 million USD) due to a hacker attack.” Importantly, he assured users that their funds remained secure and that the exchange was operating normally. “HTX has fully covered the losses incurred from the attack and has successfully resolved all related issues,” Sun declared.