The South Korean Ministry of Science and Technology (MIC) has launched a probe into the hack of one of the country’s leading crypto exchange, Bithumb, Cointelegraph has reported, citing information from the local press.
Bithumb announced earlier today that a hack had occurred between late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning, resulting in around $30 million worth of cryptocurrency having been stolen from the exchange.
According to the Yonhap news agency, the Ministry has said that after its report on the hack the Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA) joined an urgent investigation, aiming to analyse the causes of the theft. On this investigation the MIC is cooperating with the police and other agencies.
The Ministry has also indicated that it has been investigating the security levels of 21 digital currency exchanges between January and March of this year. It says that most of these exchanges have security vulnerabilities, including insufficient network isolation, an absence of monitoring systems for abnormal or suspicious activities, and inadequate cryptographic key and password security management. Twelve of the exchanges in question did not have any security systems.
The Bithumb hack comes just over a week after another South Korean crypto exchange – a relatively small platform called Coinrail - was hacked, with some $37 million being stolen by the hackers. According to Yonhap, the MIC has said that the improvement measures recommended to Coinrail have not been properly implemented during the investigation and that it will now monitor Bithumb’s response. Additionally, the Ministry aims to ensure that the 21 exchanges improve their practices by September.
According to data from cryptocurrency tracker Coinmarketcap, Bithumb has generated trading volume of $363 million in the past 24 hours., which makes it the sixth-largest crypto exchange in the world by that metric. It also ranks second in South Korea, behind Upbit.