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Crypto exchange HTX drained of millions in weekend hack

3min Read

HTX experienced a security breach resulting in the loss of $7.9 million. Concerns were raised about the exchange’s financial transparency in light of the attack.

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  • Huobi fell victim to a cyberattack resulting in the theft of $7.9 million in cryptocurrencies.
  • Despite the breach, Huobi’s native token only saw a minor price decline of 0.61%.

HTX [HT], formerly Huobi, a prominent Hong Kong-based centralized cryptocurrency exchange, faced a cyber-attack on 24 September that resulted in significant losses. As reported by blockchain analytics platform Cyvers, the hacker managed to steal approximately $7.9 million worth of cryptocurrencies.

Realistic or not, here’s HT’s market cap in BTC terms

Another one bites the dust

During this attack, a Huobi hot wallet took an unusual step. It sent a message to the attacker in Chinese, expressing awareness of the attacker’s identity and offering a “white-hat bonus” of 5% of the stolen funds if the remaining 95% was returned.

This hot wallet, which sent the message, was identified by blockchain analytics platform Arkham Intelligence as belonging to Huobi. Furthermore, this assertion was supported by information found on a Huobi support page.

Analyzing Huobi’s cryptocurrency holdings, lookonchain’s data revealed that HTX currently holds a substantial $2.96 billion in assets. This included notable holdings like 29.65K BTC valued at approximately $779.7 million and 9.16 billion TRX worth around $775.6 million.

Justin Sun addresses the public

In response to the security breach, Justin Sun, an investor in Huobi, took to Twitter to address the situation. He assured the cryptocurrency community that HTX managed to cover the losses incurred during the attack and has effectively resolved all related issues.

He emphasized that user assets were secured through the Secure Asset Fund for Users (SAFU) and that the exchange was operating normally.

Justin Sun also provided perspective on the scale of the breach. He said,

“$8 million represents a relatively small sum in comparison to the $3 billion worth of assets held by our users. It also amounts to just two weeks’ revenue for the HTX platform.”

Additionally, Sun issued a stern warning to the hacker. He stated that if the stolen funds were not returned within seven days, Huobi would involve law enforcement authorities for further action, including prosecution of the attacker.

Skepticism remains high

Despite Sun’s attempts to restore confidence in Huobi, there were lingering doubts within the cryptocurrency community regarding the exchange’s financial stability.

Notably, Adam Cochran, the founder of Cinneamhain Ventures, expressed concerns about Huobi’s solvency.

Source: Defi Llama

Cochran highlighted discrepancies between Huobi’s claims and data from Defillama. The discrepancy was related to the amount of assets held, notably in ETH and USDT.

He suggested that Justin Sun might be manipulating user assets by converting USDT into stUSDT, using them to support JustLend, and engaging in other activities.

Cochran estimated that this could potentially lead to a debt of approximately $2.4 billion in user assets spread across Huobi and the Tron ecosystem, all without the users’ awareness.

Is your portfolio green? Check out the HT Profit Calculator

Interestingly, despite the significant security incident, HT, Huobi’s native token, did not experience a substantial price drop. In the 24 hours following the breach, its price only decreased by 0.61%.

However, data from Santiment indicated a notable decline in weighted sentiment for HT. This suggested that negative comments regarding the token have become prominent on social media platforms.

Source: Santiment


Himalay is a full-time journalist at AMBCrypto. A Computer Science graduate, Himalay writes about crypto with a special focus on the latest coin-based updates. He is a fan of gonzo journalism, transgressive fiction, heavy metal, and Manchester United.
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