Yesterday, the South Korean exchange Upbit was compromised and $50M of Ethereum (ETH) was reported stolen. $16.5M of that stolen ETH is on the move and has just been sent to another unknown wallet.
The hackers responsible for stealing from Upbit appear to finally be dispersing their plundered ETH. Whale Alert (@whale_alert) is reporting that around 109,270 ETH ($16.5M) has just been transferred to another unknown wallet.
⚠️ 109,270 #ETH (16,518,370 USD) of stolen funds transferred from Upbit Hack Nov 2019 to unknown wallet
— Whale Alert (@whale_alert) November 28, 2019
However, the stolen funds were not just moved to a single address. In fact, they have been moved to four main addresses in total, possibly as a way to divide the spoils amongst the hackers. Chiachih Wu (@chiachih_wu), Research VP at Pechshield, documents this in a recent tweet.
— Chiachih Wu (@chiachih_wu) November 28, 2019
Since this finding, it has emerged that the hackers have made another five addresses with varying amounts of ETH in each. They will likely keep breaking up their funds into smaller pieces to avoid detection since they are likely now attempting to cash out in small amounts. As Chiachih Wu mentions, the hackers have tried offloading their Ethereum on both Binance and Huobi, test sending less than a single ETH to both.
However, as BeInCrypto previously reported, Binance has said it is committed to freezing any stolen funds which are deposited on its exchange. So, their ‘test’ on Binance will likely prove to be a failure—Huobi, on the other hand, has not committed to freezing any of the funds. It’s currently unclear whether the hackers will be successful in selling off their ETH on Huobi or will try other. lesser-regulated exchanges.
Hopefully, the hackers will make a misstep and the funds can be retrieved. However, it all relies on exchanges being proactive in monitoring these transfers. Thus far, it has been mainly Binance to step up to the plate. Huobi and others should also do their part to help Upbit retrieve these funds for the betterment of the industry.
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Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Trading View and Twitter.