Korea bitcoin exchange Bithumb under attack as employee computer hacked

Michael Herh of publication Business Korea reporting from Seoul, notified today that there is a probe being launched by South Korean authorities into a suspected cyber attack against Bithumb, the country’s most popular cryptocurrency exchange.

Some user’s personal information was reportedly leaked and some already suffered financial damage, with the worst still presumed to come.

Bithumb has already stated that they will repay any and all damages, with a spokesman saying:

“Since all the information, such as customers’ account numbers and passwords, are encrypted and saved only in Bithumb’s internal secure network server, it can be leaked in principle.”

“Our customers’ Korean won and digital currency deposits are safely stored and we will pay for damages when monetary damage occurs.”

On July 3rd after the leak, the Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA) and the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) carried out a preliminary investigation into the incident and the prosecution is also on the case in cooperation with them. An official from the KISA said, “Prosecutors have launched a probe into the case and will release investigation results in a few days.”

According to industry sources, Bithumb recently realized that one of its employees’ home personal computers was hacked and personal information, including phone number and e-mail address, of about 20,000 customers, about 3% of its customers, had been compromised.

A well-regarded exchange, Bithumb has annual transactions of hundreds of billions of won. The cumulative amount of bitcoins traded at Bithumb last year were estimated at 2 trillion won (US$1.74 billion).

Regulation in South Korea

There have been moves in recent days trying to organize government regulation of the bitcoin market. In a recent statement, Rep. Park Yong-jin of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea said that he would introduce three revisions this month to build a regulatory framework for digital currencies.

One of the measures aims to revise the Electronic Financial Transactions Act. If approved, it will require traders, brokers, or other business entities involved in cryptocurrency transactions to get regulatory approval from the Financial Services Commission, as well as retention of reserve capital of at least 500 million won ($436,300) and data reporting facilities.