Hackers stole $18.2 million from cryptocurrency exchange Bancor

Jack Taylor/Getty ImagesHackers made off with 24,984 in Ethereum tokens.
  • Cryptocurrency trading startup Bancor has lost roughly $US13.5 million ($AU18.2 million) in a security breach.
  • Hackers accessed a wallet used to upgrade smart contracts and withdrew the money mostly in Ethereum, a popular cryptocurrency.
  • Bancor was able to freeze $US10 million of its own tokens once it noticed the breach.

Bancor, an Israeli startup and decentralized cryptocurrency trading platform, lost approximately $US13.5 million in virtual currency on Monday.

According to Bancor, hackers compromised a wallet – which facilitates cryptocurrency trading – used to update smart contracts. Smart contracts are sometimes described as “digital vending machines,” and are essentially self-executing contracts which manage cryptocurrency transactions, cutting out the need for any middle-man.

Hackers then used the compromised wallet to steal three cryptocurrencies, comprising 24,984 in Ethereum tokens, (approximately $US12.5 million), 229, 356, 645 NPXS (approx. $US1 million) and 3,200,00 of Bancor’s own token BNT (approx. $US10 million).

Once the company became aware of the hack it was able to freeze the $US10 million of its own Bancor tokens (BNT), mitigating the damage somewhat.

Bancor claims that no user wallets were compromised by the attack. Some on Twitter, including Litecoin creator Charlie Lee claimed that Bancor’s response proves it is not truly decentralized.

Bancor raised $US153 million with its initial coin offering (ICO) in June. According to CoinMarketCap, its value has depreciated by 16.17%.

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