Hacked Russian cryptocurrency exchange, Livecoin has announced that it is going to shut its services and requested its clients to proceed with fund withdrawals.
Livecoin servers were compromised last month, and the exchange lost control over its infrastructure. The attacker first modified the crypto exchange rates, inflating them to unrealistic figures.
On December 23, when Bitcoin was trading at $23,000, its prices on the Russian exchange surged over $450,000, while Ether was trading at $15,000, compared to the normal $600.
Though many industry trackers pointed out the anomaly first, Livecoin came out with an official announcement about the hack on Christmas eve.
— TANG 🦧 (@cryptorangutang) December 24, 2020
The exchange managed to gain some control of the hacked servers and modified the prices, but the attacker soon started cashing out user accounts with gigantic profits. The total damage amount is not known yet.
“Our service has been damaged hard in a technical and financial way. There is no way to continue operative business in these conditions, so we take a hard decision to close the business and paying the remaining funds to clients,” the exchange noted.
Beware of Scammers
Livecoin users now have two months to claim their refund. However, the exchange warned against fraudsters trying to gain from such a situation and explicitly mentioned that users “don’t have to pay to get back your funds.”
The attack was orchestrated when the price of Bitcoin started its dramatic upward rally after breaching the iconic $20,000 level. The exchange admins also highlighted that it was a “carefully planned attack, which has been prepared, as we assume, over the last few months.”
Despite the exchange’s losses, many have pointed out the attack to an exit strategy in the bull market, but there is no evidence backing these allegations.
However, it is not clear if the doomed exchange will refund 100 percent of the user deposits or return them partially.
“Our service and team bear hard losses as well as our clients. In case of abuse and threats in conversation, the claim can be declined,” the exchange noted.