Altsbit Cryptocurrency Exchange to Shut Down After over $70M USD in Assets Stolen

Altsbit Exchanged hacked and will shut down

Cryptocurrency exchange Altsbit said it plans to shut down its services in May 2020, after having lost “almost all funds” in a security breach on Feb. 5.
Altsbit reported the security breach on Twitter on Feb. 6 and published withdrawal instructions 3 days later. The Italy-based exchange stated that the cryptocurrencies taken in the hack include Bitcoins, Ethers, as well as other cryptocurrencies such as Pirate Chain (ARRR), VerusCoin (VRSC) and Komodo (KMD).

The exact amount of cryptocurrencies taken in the breach are listed below:

  • Bitcoin (BTC): 6,929 lost out of 14,782 held
  • Ether (ETH): 23,210 lost out of 32,262
  • Pirate Chain (ARRR): 3,924,082 lost out of 9,619,754
  • Verus Coin (VRSC): 414,154 lost out of 852,726
  • Komodo (KMD): 1,066 lost out of 48,015

In the announcement published on its website, the exchange said that “fortunately a good part of the coins were kept on cold storage” promising it will issue partial reimbursements because it has insufficient resources for full refunds.

Even though the exchange managed to save part of the funds that were stored on cold wallets, it still plans to shut down its services on May 8, 2020. Altsbit promised to compensate users whose funds were stolen from the cold wallets. 
“Refunds will begin on February 10, 2020 and end on May 8, 2020, after this date it will no longer be possible to request a refund as the Altsbit platform will be terminated.”

In its statement, Altsbit said affected clients must apply for their partial reimbursements. The value of stolen Bitcoin and Ether amounted to roughly $72.5 million at press time.
The exchange warned its clients of those claiming to be its employees promising compensations, as hackers have been advertising false cryptocurrency giveaways on several social networks, to deceive consumers into sending them funds.

It seems that a black hat computer hacking group LulzSec has taken the responsibility for the breach on Twitter. The group has warned other exchanges to prepare for more attacks.

LulzSec has been previously linked to other major security breaches, such as the one of Sony Pictures back in 2011. Some of the group’s members have been arrested.
One of the members arrested over the Sony Pictures breach was Raynaldo Rivera, 20, who surrendered himself in Phoenix a few days after a federal grand jury in Los Angeles returned an allegation accusing him of conspiracy and illegal attack on a protected computer.
At the time, the indictment charged Rivera and his associates of stealing data from Sony Corp’s Sony Pictures’ systems in May and June 2011 with an “SQL injection” attack, a common technique among hackers.