‘World’s Most Secure Exchange’ ZB.com Hacked for $5 Million

August 05, 2022, 9:10 AM AEST - 1 week ago

Formerly China-based ZB.com, which touts itself as the world’s most secure digital asset exchange, has had US$4.8 million pilfered from its hot wallet in a suspected hack:

Blockchain security firm PeckShield disclosed the suspected hack on August 3, identifying that large volumes of more than 20 different digital assets had been transferred out of the exchange’s hot wallet to another address. Most of the transferred assets have since been sold for ETH.

In response to the incident, ZB.com suspended customer withdrawals for what it describes as “temporary maintenance”, explaining in a statement:

Due to the sudden failure of some core applications, it still takes time to troubleshoot the problem. Deposit and withdrawal services are now suspended. Please do not deposit any digital currency before recovery. 

ZB.com statement

Wide Range of Digital Assets Taken

Among the 21 digital assets stolen in this suspected hack were over US$800,000 in Tether (USDT), almost US$300,000 in MATIC and over US$200,000 in IMX.

After being funnelled out of ZB.com’s hot wallet, the majority of the funds were subsequently sent to a number of decentralised exchanges by the hacker and sold for 2,224 ETH, currently valued at US$3.6 million. Another wallet PeckShield believes is also controlled by the hacker still holds just over US$1 million worth of stolen assets, which haven’t yet been sold.

Exchange Has Long History in Crypto

ZB.com is one of the oldest crypto exchanges currently operating, having been founded in China as CHBTC.com in 2013. Following China’s crackdown on crypto in 2017, the exchange ceased its activities inside China, rebranded as ZB.com and moved its headquarters to Switzerland. 

Despite this recent hack, ZB.com continues to flaunt its supposed status as the world’s most secure crypto exchange on its Twitter bio:

In the past year, exchange hacks have become increasingly frequent. In December 2021, US-based exchange BitMart was hacked for almost US$200 million, and in January Liechtenstein-based exchange LCX had one of its hot wallets hacked, losing almost US$8 million.

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