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Breach Leaves 450,000 Users of Cryptocurrency Exchange Coinmama Vulnerable

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A large scale hack affecting 30 companies and a breach of 841 million records inclusive of 450,000 records from cryptocurrency brokerage firm Coinmama were posted on a dark web registry, in a security report on its blog last Friday.

The hacker had reportedly published the hacked users’ data from the previous heist on the dark web’s marketplace and had eight of the recently hacked websites put up for sale at 2.6 bitcoins, or about USD 9,350. The perpetrator may be interested in selling the other data for Bitcoins as with other leaked data.

In the official statement released by the exchange, it said: “We believe the intrusion is limited to about 450,000 email addresses and hashed passwords of users who registered until 5 August 2017.” As at press time on Friday, the exchange said there had been no evidence of the data being used by the perpetrator.

Coinmama currently serves about 1.3 million users as a cryptocurrency brokerage firm that allows users to use their Credit or Master Card to purchase a range of 7 cryptocurrencies to include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Cardano, and Qtum.

While reports from cybersecurity firms looking into the matter show basic speculations about the hack, the crypto exchange has said that it has taken measures to understand the scope of the hack and has reached out to users who were affected in the breach to update their account security, whilst protecting their funds and data.

Security breaches continue to be a major concern in the crypto industry as bad actors plaguing the industry constitute bad labels. Despite crypto processes involving complex cryptographic algorithms and supposedly airtight security measures being put in place by service providers, users are still tasked with the responsibility of ensuring the security of their data and possibly offline security measures.

Earlier this year, New Zealand cryptocurrency exchange had been hacked and had significant losses, though, a few days back it was given the green light to resume operation. Recently, a cryptocurrency exchange in Istanbul reportedly lost USD 2.4 million to hackers. Although about USD 256,000 had been recovered, still the blight of such occurrences still has its damning effects on the industry.

One of the major concerns of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with regards to cryptocurrency is custody infrastructure. This has been a core deterrent in approving Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) applications which if approved could steer the industry in the direction of institutional investors.

Cryptocurrency is yet to gain its footing in the mainstream market and while this data heist was done across other non-related ventures, however, for a cryptocurrency-related venture to be caught in the web, further slights the emerging economics of cryptocurrency.


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