$26,782 or 21 ETH of the $51 million Ethereum (ETHs) stolen from Upbit back in late November 2019 is once again on the move. The illegal transfer was captured by Whale Alert. Funds were transferred from the hacker wallet to an unidentified ETH public address further increasing intrigues as to how exactly these unknown hackers, thought to be Elite in their trade, plan to launder their Upbit stash.
Stolen ETH Constantly Moved
⚠ 201 #ETH (26,782 USD) of stolen funds transferred from Upbit Hack Nov 2019 to unknown wallet
— Whale Alert (@whale_alert) January 4, 2020
This is not the first time hackers are moving the fund. A few days after the breach, keen observed began noting movements from the highlighted public addresses holding the coins.
Later, the group-or person, began dividing the stash into tranches ranging from 1,000 ETHs to 10,000 ETHs. On Dec 3, a small test amount was sent to the Huobi Global in a laundering attempt.
Two weeks later on Dec 23, 2,000 ETHs were sent to yet another new public address in another bid to obfuscate its source and launder them via Binance.
⚠ 2,000 #ETH (264,388 USD) of stolen funds transferred from Upbit Hack Nov 2019 to unknown wallet
— Whale Alert (@whale_alert) December 23, 2019
Although all new addresses can be blacklisted and tagged, the fact that they can move them faster and transfer them internally between user accounts can allow them to withdraw and illegally launder funds.
The Upbit Hack
On November 27, the South Korean cryptocurrency exchange, Upbit was attacked with hackers making way with $51 million worth of ETH from the exchange’s hot wallet.
A hot wallet is a cryptocurrency vault that is connected to the internet and therefore vulnerable to attacks from third party elements who always score the internet searching for infiltrating weaknesses in valuable systems.
On that day, a weakness was identified and thieves ransacked Upbit’s hot wallet making way with 342,000 ETHs.
In a defensive response, the exchange moved all coins and tokens from their hot to cold wallets, and suspended user withdrawal and deposits. Its CEO said it would compensate user losses.
Support from Binance, Changelly and more
CEOs of other exchanges including Changelly, Binance, OkEx and Huobi Global expressed their support of Upbit saying they would block any incoming transaction. However, that seemed not to have fazed them since they moved ETHs to different exchanges including 60cek, a Russian exchange–447 ETHs, and latter to Yobit.