South Korea’s Police Force Creates Crypto Hacking Report in Past 3 Years Despite Only 6 Arrests


South Korea’s Police Force Creates Report of All Hacking-Related Issues For Last Three Years, Despite Only Six Arrests

The South Korean National Police Agency has been aggressively pursuing hacking attempts since cryptocurrency entered their hemisphere. Recently, they compiled information about the hacking attempts into a single report titled “Status and Measures of Hacking Damage of Virtual Currency Exchanges in the Last Three Years.”

In the lists, and according to media in the area, seven hacks against cryptocurrency exchanges were found, along with 158 cases of wallet hacks. However, over half of the wallet hacks (91) happened within the last 12 months. Somehow, even with all of these findings, the police only managed to make six arrests in that time.

The report was submitted to the government, where Cho Won-jin revealed the results on Wednesday. According to his annoucement, this information reveals that “there were seven [crypto exchange] hacking cases since 2016” and the amount “illegally withdrawn through hacking was 112 billion won [~$99 million].”

Local news publication Boan News said, ““The amount of money stolen by the hacking of cryptocurrency exchanges has been steadily increasing every year. The amount of illegal withdrawals, which was only KRW 300 million [~$265,282] in 2016, increased to KRW 40.5 billion [~$35.8 million] in 2017, and two hacking cases occurred in 2018, amounting to KRW 71.3 billion [~$63 million] in theft.”

They weren’t the only one that released information from the annoucement. The Korean Digital Times also wrote about the release, saying, “From 2015 to 2018, there have been 158 cases of hacking of virtual currency personal wallets, in particular, 91 cases this year. However, [only] in six cases were arrests made.”

The exchanges that were hacked on the report include:

  • Ripple4y, on July 26th, 2016
  • Yapizon, on April 22nd, 2017
  • Bithumb, on June 28th, 2017
  • Coinis, on September 23rd, 2017
  • Youbit, on December 19th, 2017
  • Coinrail, on June 10th, 2018
  • Bithumb on June 19th, 2018

Along with the information gathered in these reports, the government has also been examining cryptocurrency exchanges within the country for security concerns. Of the exchanges examined, they checked 10 exchanges during Q4 2017, and another 21 were inspected during Q1 2018. Many news sites exposed the security issues found at that time.

When commenting on these reports, Boan News reported that Min Kyung-wook, a local lawmaker, said, “The nature of cryptocurrency exchanges is always exposed to cyber threat…the hacking accidents occurred even in the places where the government conducted security checks.”

Even after the inspection, three additional exchanges succumbed to a hacking situation. Those impacted were Youbit (December 27th), Coinrail (June 10th), and Bithumb (June 19th).

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