Coincheck Promises to Repay 90% of Stolen Crypto-Coins

Hacked Japanese crypto-currency exchange Coincheck has promised affected customers that it will return around 90% of the NEM tokens stolen in a cyber-attack last week.

That amounts to 523m XEM, or $425m, to be redistributed to the 260,000 or so users impacted by the attack. The money will be repaid from “company funds” in Japanese yen via users’ Coincheck Wallet, the firm explained in a blog post.

“We realize that this illicit transfer of funds from our platform and the resulting suspension in services has caused immense distress to our customers, other exchanges, and people throughout the cryptocurrency industry, and we would like to offer our deepest and humblest apologies to all of those involved,” Coincheck continued.

“In moving towards reopening our services, we are putting all of our efforts towards discovering the cause of the illicit transfer and overhauling and strengthening our security measures while simultaneously continuing in our efforts to register with the Financial Services Agency as a Virtual Currency Exchange Service Provider.”

Coincheck was forced to suspend activity on the platform on Friday following the attack. Reports suggest the stolen crypto-currency was stored in an internet-connected “hot wallet” rather than a more secure “cold wallet.”

The news comes just days after a new report warned that cyber-criminals are increasingly targeting initial coin offerings (ICOs).

It claimed crypto-currency exchanges are particularly popular targets, with $2bn having been stolen already from such companies.  

North Korean hackers have been highlighted as one group ramping up operations against exchanges, often via spear-phishing emails aimed at harvesting the log-ins of employees working there.

This increase in cyber-activity has coincided with tough new sanctions on the Kim Jong-Un regime, hinting that it could be a government-sanctioned effort to get money into the country.

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