Bancor, a Switzerland-based crypto exchange suspended trade operations on Monday morning due to a “security breach.” Before announcing the attack, the exchange stated that its Web Application was halted while it underwent unplanned maintenance.
Bancor confirmed the breach on a Twitter post and indicated that it would be several hours before trading service would be fully restored and to allow investigative effort before releasing a more detailed report shortly. The exchange then issued an update on Twitter, explaining hackers ransacked Ethereum tokens worth around $12.5 million and about $10 million worth of Bancor’s (BNT) native currency.
The attack happened at around 00:00 UTC July 9, 2018, when a wallet used to upgrade some smart contracts was compromised. The wallet has withdrawn Ether, NPXS and BNT tokens
News of the robbery sent BNT token price down sharply to $2.84, but the value later leveled off.
Reportedly, the robbed BNT tokens have in the meantime been frozen using a mechanism built into the Bancor network. According to Bancor team, the tool was built in to “be used in an extreme situation to recover from a security breach, allowing Bancor to effectively stop the thief from running away with the stolen tokens.”
In a statement, the exchange notes:
“This morning (CEST) Bancor experienced a security breach. No user wallets were compromised. To complete the investigation, we have moved to maintenance and will be releasing a more detailed report shortly. We look forward to being back online as soon as possible.”
Notably, Bancor raised approximately $153 million in ICO last year to start a digital exchange
According to a report from blockchain security firm CipherTrace released on July 3, Crypto exchanges hacks have soared in the first half of 2018 to three times the level seen for the whole of last year.
The report revealed that in 2017 cryptocurrency exchanges filed around $266 million lost to hackers. The first half of 2018 filed triple the amount robbed from cryptocurrency exchanges last year, prompting investors in the crypto space to develop concerns regarding the standard of security measures implemented by cryptocurrency exchange platforms.