It’s happened again, folks. Another massive cryptocurrency hack is in the books. This time, the subject of the attack is VeChain, an enterprise blockchain platform that’s reporting losses of nearly $7 million.
VeChain Is In the Pits
Approximately 1.1 billion VET tokens – the official cryptocurrency of VeChain – have been stolen, amounting to roughly $6.53 million USD. In a blog post, the company states that the hack came about due to “human error” and the “mismanagement of the private key by our staff.”
The VeChain Foundation buyback address was compromised. After a responsive investigation, the incident was caused by the fact that the private key buyback address was stolen during the wallet creation process due to the negligence of [a] staff member. The security integrity of the main net and our official mobile wallet had not been affected in any way, shape or form.
Company executives say they have been monitoring the transaction in real time, along with the corresponding wallets responsible for moving and taking in the funds. They are currently working with a cybersecurity firm known as Hacken to get the money back.
In the meantime, executives say that the “error” responsible for the open window which led to the hack has been corrected. In a statement, an anonymous VeChain team member states:
We have narrowed down the possibilities enough to lead to a highly probably theory. Security breach was most likely due to misconduct of one of the team members within our finance team.
2019 has been a heavy year for cryptocurrency theft. Among the most recent cases involves the popular cryptocurrency trading platform Up Bit, stationed in South Korea. The exchange recently reported losing as much as $50 million in ether (ETH) tokens. The company has been under fire for its use of hot wallet storage, which is widely considered weaker than offline cold storage.
This was the same tactic utilized by Japan’s Coincheck, which lost a reported $500 million+ in assorted crypto funds in January 2018, marking the largest crypto theft in the industry’s history.
Other recent examples include Binance, the world’s largest and most popular cryptocurrency trading exchange. The company reported losing more than $40 million in bitcoin (BTC) funds last May. While executives said they had the reserves necessary to reimburse any potential losses, the attack still “hurt.”
So Much Hacking Going On!
Lastly, 2019 started on negative terms when New Zealand-based cryptocurrency exchange Cryptopia reported a hack last January. Initially, the exchange stated that the losses at hand were “significant,” while later evidence suggested that as much as $2.5 million in ether funds were stolen.
A relatively new company, VeChain was launched in 2018. The money taken represents approximately one percent of the VET supply, which is currently capped at just over 86 million tokens.