HTX Global Secures $8M Asset Return as Hacker Claims Bounty

HTX hacker refunds stolen assets from the exchange’s $8 million September attack.

Huobis blue fire is back. A mysterious man in a hoody is bringing it back.
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  • In September, cryptocurrency exchange HTX Global suffered a security breach, resulting in the compromise of its wallets and the loss of funds and assets.
  • The exchange successfully recovered the stolen assets, granting the hacker over 200 ETH in reward.
  • HTX requested a vulnerability analysis to strengthen security protocols and prevent further attacks.

The cryptocurrency industry has been long plagued by the persistent threat of cyberattacks, scams, and hacks, leaving exchanges and firms to grapple with the aftermath of asset thefts and financial losses.

On September 25th, cryptocurrency exchange HTX Global became the latest victim, falling prey to an attack that resulted in the loss of assets equivalent to approximately $8 million. The exchange requested that the thief refund the pilfered assets, extending an enticing bounty of 5% of the ill-gotten gains, amounting to 250 ETH ($400,000). 

HTX’s Battle and Asset Recovery

On September 8th, on-chain analyst Lookonchain announced the refund deposit of $4,999 ETH, equivalent to $8.2 million, by the HTX Global hacker.

Staking its commitment to protecting and recovering the lost assets, the exchange emphasized its plan to take legal action in collaboration with law enforcement agencies if 95 percent of the stolen assets were not returned within a seven-day timeframe.

The hacker appended a message to the exchange in addition to the refund, highlighting a crucial vulnerability that led to the attack on the exchange.

In one of the deposit transactions, he stated “Your system hot wallet private key leak, you should change system hot wallet address and reduce the system hot wallet rate.”

The exchange subsequently requested a vulnerability analysis report from the hacker to prevent similar future incidents, assuring privacy protection. 

HTX Global advisor, Justin Sun, confirmed the recovery of the assets in a tweet, adding that the exchange had honored its commitment of a 250 ETH reward as promised. 

Sun expressed gratitude for the support of the cryptocurrency community, acknowledging the formidable task of strengthening blockchain security, and reaffirmed the exchange’s commitment to ensuring the safeguarding of user assets to prevent further attacks.

The HTX Attack

While HTX’s Sun assured users of the safety of assets, the hack triggered concerns of insolvency among experts and investors, casting doubts on the exchange’s financial stability. 

Questioning the inconsistencies in the exchange’s claims of holding $200 million ETH in reserve, industry experts highlighted the exchange’s balance as less than $120 million. Additionally, the exchange claimed to have a user balance exceeding $620 million USDT while it was found to be only $119 million, further raising questions of transparency.

On the Flipside

  • Upbit, a popular cryptocurrency exchange, disclosed that it has allegedly faced down 159,000 hack attempts in 2023.
  • Blockchain security firm Certik highlighted that over $330 million was lost to crypto hacks and scams in September.
  • HTX was formerly known as Huobi Global before the exchange’s official rebrand on September 13, 2023.

Why This Matters

The relentless wave of cyberattacks in the cryptocurrency industry underscores the growing need for robust security measures. As the industry grapples with these mounting challenges, the reclamation of HTX’s lost assets is a testament to the resilience and determination of experts striving to secure user assets and fortify blockchain systems. 

For a deeper dive into the HTX September attack and the level of vulnerability exposed, read here:
Huobi Solvency Concerns Resurface as Sun Addresses

Canadian regulatory authorities have unveiled a new framework aimed at investor protection. Read more:
Canada Strengthens Crypto Regulation with New Guidelines   

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Author
Grace Abidemi

Grace Abidemi, a cryptocurrency reporter at DailyCoin, covers industry developments and trends. She previously worked as a freelance writer. With a Bachelor's degree in German Language and certifications in marketing and storytelling, Grace creates engaging content. When not working, she's in Nigeria, mastering cooking and canvas painting, and enjoys learning about different cultures and languages.