South Korea’s cryptocurrency exchange, Upbit, has reported a staggering 159,000 hacking attempts in the first half of 2023, marking a 117% increase from the previous year and an alarming 1,800% surge since 2020.
The exchange’s parent company, Dunamu, shared these shocking statistics with South Korean Representative Park Seong-jung, prompting calls for immediate action to bolster security on the cryptocurrency exchange platform.
According to Yonhap News, a leading Korean news source in Korean language, citing data from Danamu, there were a total of 98,599 cyber infringement attempts on Upbit in 2021, a total of 160,491 in the whole of 2022, and a whopping 159,061 incidents in just the first half of 2023.
NEW: Upbit, 🇰🇷 South Korea's largest crypto exchange, has been the 🎯 target of over 159000 👾hacking attempts in the first half of this year. pic.twitter.com/pynQznr9mw
— Bitcoin News (@BitcoinNewsCom) October 9, 2023
Upbit Exchange Implements Security Measures
In response to the threat, Upbit has reportedly implemented stringent security measures. The exchange now stores a significant portion of its funds, approximately 70%, in cold wallets, which are considered more secure as they are offline and less vulnerable to cyberattacks.
Additionally, security protocols for hot wallets, which store private keys online, have been enhanced to minimize vulnerabilities.
Meanwhile, Upbit’s battle against cyberattacks began in 2019 when it suffered a $50 million security breach. However, since then, the exchange claims to have successfully repelled all hacking attempts, thanks to the implementation of proactive security measures, including organized hot wallet operations.
Despite its efforts, Crypto Economy reported that Upbit faced a setback when it suspended Aptos token services in late September due to the failure to detect a fraudulent token named “ClaimAPTGift.com.” This incident led to a notable decline in the value of the real Aptos cryptocurrency.
As noted, representative Park Seong-jung of the Science, Technology, Information, Broadcasting and Communications Committee of the National Assembly, has called on the South Korean government to take more substantial action to address the increasing frequency of cryptocurrency-related cyberattacks.
He stressed the need for comprehensive cybersecurity assessments and clearer regulation, highlighting the ambiguity in the Ministry of Science and ICT’s oversight of virtual asset exchanges, saying,
“There are serious concerns about hacking, but the role of the Ministry of Science and Technology in management and supervision is ambiguous.”