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Bitcoin exchange Bithumb hit by hackers

Employee's PC hacked to reveal personal data of users.

By James Nunns

Personal details and funds have been stolen from users of one of the world’s largest Bitcoin exchanges.

Bithumb, a South Korea-based site, has promised compensation to those that have had their personal details stolen, which apparently led to users being tricked by thieves into letting them steal funds.

According to the Yonhap news agency, the Korea and Internet and Security Agency has launched an investigation into the matter. Bithumb

Like other cryptocurrency exchange sites, Bithumb allows users to buy and sell virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others. The exchange is the largest in South Korea and ranked in the top five globally, according to trading volumes.

Reports suggest that the breach occurred in February but wasn’t discover until the 29th of June and disclosed a day later.

Bithumb has maintained that there was no direct access to funds stored on the exchange, saying: “The employee PC, not the head office server, was hacked. Personal information such as mobile phone and email address of some users were leaked. However, some customers were found to have been stolen from because of the disposable password used in electronic financial transactions.”

According to Brave New Coin, a number of users have complained about receiving scam calls, texts, and some have claimed to have had their virtual wallets emptied.

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Bithumb said that, “compensation for personal information leakage cases has been decided,” with this figure being 100,000 won per person, which is worth around $870. Further damages will also compensated for after the amount is confirmed.

One of the complexities of the matter is that crypocurrencies are barely regulated in South Korea, due to digital currencies not being recognised. This raises the question of whether or not the site is legally responsible for the lost funds.

In 2016 the price of Bitcoin plummeted following the hacking of Bitfinex, a Hong Kong-based digital currency exchange, but has hit record breaking highs this year.

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