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Bitcoin Heist Japan

Cryptocurrency Worth $530 Million Missing From Japanese Exchange

Cryptocurrency Worth $530 Million Missing From Japanese Exchange

Cryptocurrency Worth $530 Million Missing From Japanese Exchange Coincheck, a Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange, says it was hacked As bitcoin has emerged from the underground world of nerds and criminals to become a mainstream investment, the risk of hacks and scandals has also blossomed. What's a government to do? The WSJ's Steven Russolillo travels the world (sort of) to see how regulators are responding to the remarkable rise of cryptocurrencies. Video: Sharon Shi and Crystal Tai TOKYOThe operator of one of Japans leading trading platforms for cryptocurrencies said it lost $530 million in customer assets, the largest known crypto theft and a development that could chill the craze for bitcoin-related assets. Coincheck Inc., a Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange, said Friday that 523 million units of a virtual currency called NEM disappeared due to unauthorized access by someone outside the system. It said the missing cryptocurrency all belonged to the exchanges customers and was valued at 58 billion,... Copyright 2018 Dow Jones & Company , Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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  • Coincheck Heist Sheds Light On Japan's Rush To Create Cryptocurrency Rules

    Coincheck Heist Sheds Light On Japan's Rush To Create Cryptocurrency Rules

    February 12, 2018 / 2:30 AM / in 3 months Coincheck heist sheds light on Japan's rush to create cryptocurrency rules (This February 11 story has been refiled to add dropped word they in second paragraph) FILE PHOTO: Journalists are seen next to Cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck's signboard while Japan's financial regulator conducts a spot inspection on Coincheck, in Tokyo, Japan February 2, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo TOKYO (Reuters) - After the Mt. Gox cryptocurrency exchange was stung by a half-billion dollar theft in 2014, Japanese regulators swung into action. Their goal was to craft rules that both protected traders and allowed a promising sector to flourish. By last April, they thought they had arrived at a set of guidelines that did just that. Japans national system to oversee cryptocurrency trading was the worlds first, rolled out even as policymakers elsewhere grappled with how to deal with the sector. Under the Japanese framework, some exchanges would be allowed to operate - even though they hadnt yet won regulatory approval. One of those was Coincheck Inc. Last month, hackers stole about $530 million from the Tokyo-based exchange, a theft rivaling Mt. Goxs as one of the biggest ever for digital currency. The Coincheck heist exposed flaws in Japans system. And for some experts, it raised questions over the countrys dash to regulate the industry - a sharp contrast to clampdowns by countries like South Korea and China. Interviews with a dozen government officials, lawmakers and cryptocurrency industry leaders depict a regulator that opted for relatively loose rules to help nurture an industry largely populated by start-ups. Japans Financial Services Agency declined to comment. But proponents of its regulatory approach say the system and the hack wer Continue reading >>

    Japanese Cryptocurrency Exchange Loses More Than $500 Million To Hackers

    Japanese Cryptocurrency Exchange Loses More Than $500 Million To Hackers

    Japanese cryptocurrency exchange loses more than $500 million to hackers Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck says Friday that around 523 million of the exchange's NEM coins were sent to another account around 3 a.m. local time. The stolen coins were worth about 58 billion yen at the time of detection, or roughly $534.8 million, according to the exchange. Coincheck management says it held the NEM coins in a "hot" wallet, referring to a method of storage that is linked to the internet. Hackers stole several hundred million dollars' worth of a lesser-known cryptocurrency from a major Japanese exchange Friday. Coincheck said that around 523 million of the exchange's NEM coins were sent to another account around 3 a.m. local time (1 p.m. ET Thursday), according to a Google translation of a Japanese transcript of the Friday press conference from Logmi . The exchange has about 6 percent of yen-bitcoin trading, ranking fourth by market share on CryptoCompare. The stolen NEM coins were worth about 58 billion yen at the time of detection, or roughly $534.8 million, according to the exchange. Coincheck subsequently restricted withdrawals of all currencies, including yen, and trading of cryptocurrencies other than bitcoin. Bloomberg first reported the hack. A CNBC email sent to Coincheck's listed address bounced back. Cryptocurrency NEM, which intends to help businesses handle data digitally, briefly fell more than 20 percent Friday before recovering to trade about 10 percent lower near 85 cents, according to CoinMarketCap. Most other major digital currencies, including bitcoin , traded little changed on the day. Coincheck management said in the press conference that it held the NEM coins in a "hot" wallet, referring to a method of storage that is linked to the internet. In Continue reading >>

    Inside Japans Bitcoin Heist

    Inside Japans Bitcoin Heist

    A former Mt. Gox employee says incompetent management and faulty accountingnot virtual robbersare the real culprits in the missing millions. Bitcoin, the virtual currency that has been racing toward acceptance as a genuine currency, had a colossal setback this past Tuesday, when a major Bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox, based in Tokyo, went off-line . Thousands of customers are unable to withdraw deposits and CEO Mark Karpeles is not talking to the press about what happened. Fears about the virtual currencys security have multiplied with the closing of Mt. Gox. It appears that the theft of several hundred thousand Bitcoins from the company forced it to close the exchange. Speculation is rampant as to what exactly happened. The Daily Beast was able to speak with a former employee of Mt. Gox, on the condition of anonymity, due to a nondisclosure agreement with the company. According to the former employees testimony and other expert analysis, it seems very likely that the collapse of Mt. Gox was not a criminal fraud but the result of poor management, faulty accounting, and system bugs that went unfixed many months after being recognized by the CEO himself. The final nail in the coffin was the unauthorized release of an internal document that was supposed to serve as the groundwork for saving the company. It is unclear who leaked the documentwhich was an unfinished draft of a plan of action. Essentially, said the former employee, Mt. Gox was a dysfunctional organization. Nobody was doing accounting reconciliation and there was an exploitable fault in the transaction system that allowed people to get paid twiceor in other words, withdraw more or less the same amount of Bitcoins two times. Think of it this wayif Bitcoins were like frozen hamburger patties being served at a diner w Continue reading >>

    Bitcoin Heist Suspect Flees Iceland On Flight Carrying Prime Minister: State Broadcaster

    Bitcoin Heist Suspect Flees Iceland On Flight Carrying Prime Minister: State Broadcaster

    Bitcoin heist suspect flees Iceland on flight carrying prime minister: state broadcaster REYKJAVIK An Icelandic man arrested on suspicion of stealing about 600 computers used to mine the cryptocurrency bitcoin escaped prison and fled the country on a commercial flight to Sweden, Icelandic state broadcaster RUV said on Wednesday. The same Icelandair flight was also taking Icelandic Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir to a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Stockholm, RUV reported, without specifying its sources. The escapee was among 11 people arrested on Feb. 2 on suspicion of taking the computers with an estimated value of 200 million Icelandic crowns ($2 million), Icelandic police said at the time. No criminal case in Iceland has ever involved larger sums of money. RUV, quoting Pall Winkel, director of Icelands Prison and Probation Administration, said the man escaped from an open, minimum-security prison early on Tuesday and boarded the Icelandair flight the same morning to Stockholm. It said the heist suspect remained at large and Icelandic police had asked their Swedish counterparts for help in apprehending him. Swedish police have, as have other European countries, been informed by Iceland about a detained man who has escaped, Swedish national police spokeswoman Malin Nafver said, declining to comment further. Officials at Icelands prison and probation administration could not be reached for comment. The stolen computers were specially programmed to mine bitcoin. Police have yet to locate the computers. Continue reading >>

    Japan Authorities Raid Coincheck After $500 Million Heist

    Japan Authorities Raid Coincheck After $500 Million Heist

    Japans Financial Services Agency raided Coincheck Inc.s offices a week after the cryptocurrency exchange lost about $500 million to hackers, hauling out documents and computers as evidence. The inspection was conducted to ensure security for users, Finance Minister Taro Aso said. On Friday morning, 10 FSA officials entered Coinchecks premises to gain a better understanding of how the exchange is operating in light of the regulators business improvement order imposed earlier this week, an agency official told reporters in Tokyo. The theft, which follows the disappearance of about $470 million worth of Bitcoins from the Mt. Gox exchange in 2014, sent shockwaves through the global virtual currency community. The incident has spurred calls for more regulation at a time when many governments are struggling to formulate a response to the digital-asset boom. account of the incident, an unidentified thief stole 523 million coins tied to the NEM blockchain project, which were trading at about 94 U.S. cents at the time of the hack. It wasnt until around 11 a.m. on Friday morning about eight hours after the initial breach that Coincheck staff noticed an alert pointing to a sharp drop in their NEM coin reserves. Coincheck has until Feb. 13 to to submit a report detailing the causes of the incident and how it will improve internal controls. FSA officials, who said that this is the first time that theyve raided a cryptocurrency exchange, declined to comment on Coinchecks financial condition. There are 16 registered exchanges, while 15 others have been allowed to operate pending formal approval, the FSA said. All of them have been ordered to detail their security measures to the FSA by the end of Friday. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have rebounded from their selloff on Friday, Continue reading >>

    Coincheck: $530m Cryptocurrency Heist May Be Biggest Ever - Jan. 29, 2018

    Coincheck: $530m Cryptocurrency Heist May Be Biggest Ever - Jan. 29, 2018

    Coincheck said in a blog post that the hack "has caused immense distress to our customers, other exchanges, and people throughout the cryptocurrency industry." "We would like to offer our deepest and humblest apologies to all of those involved," the exchange said. It has currently suspended trading in all virtual currencies apart from bitcoin. The price of NEM plunged almost 20% after the theft came to light over the weekend, but it has since recovered those losses. Coincheck didn't respond to repeated requests for comment on how exactly it will fund the customer refunds. Managers of Coincheck bowing in apology at a news conference following the exchange's loss of $530 million in cryptocurrency in a hack. A Japanese government spokesman said Monday that Coincheck would be asked to improve its business practices following the hack. Financial authorities are supervising the company's response to the theft, he said. The Coincheck hack is the latest in a series of attacks targeting digital currency exchanges. Cybercriminals have been taking advantage of security weaknesses at young, often unregulated businesses that are handling huge sums of other people's money. "Large scale hacks are among the biggest risks faced today by the global crypto community," said Henri Arslanian, a financial technology expert at consulting firm PwC in Hong Kong. Related: Davos: Bitcoin is not a currency Mt Gox, also based in Japan, was the world's biggest cryptocurrency exchange when hackers broke in and stole an estimated $400 million worth of bitcoin almost four years ago. Mt Gox went bankrupt shortly afterward and affected users still haven't been compensated. The meteoric rise in the value of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies over the past year or so appears to have intensified interest fr Continue reading >>

    Over $6.2 Mln In Crypto Assets Lost To Fraud, Hacks In Japan Last Year

    Over $6.2 Mln In Crypto Assets Lost To Fraud, Hacks In Japan Last Year

    Over $6.2 Mln In Crypto Assets Lost To Fraud, Hacks In Japan Last Year A new annual report from Japans National Police Agency shows that over $6.2 mln in crypto was lost to hacks and fraud last year. Over $6.2 mln (662.4 mln yen) of cryptocurrency was lost in 2017 due to fraud and theft, according to statistics released from Japans National Police Agency (NPA), local news outlet Nikkei reports today, March 22. This number does not include the over $500 mln hack of NEM from Japanese crypto exchange Coincheck in late January. Nikkei writes that 16 virtual currency exchanges and 3 companies with crypto wallets -- not noting any by name -- were the victims of all of the 2017 recorded crypto hacks, according to the NPA. Out of the 149 cases of unauthorized access to crypto accounts, in about 80 percent of cases (122 cases) the wallets did not use two-factor authentication, only using ID and password, Nikkei reports. The currencies that make up the largest percentage of the hack are Bitcoin (BTC) (85 BTC lost), Ripple (XRP) (55 XRP), with 13 other altcoins included as well. By NPA data, the number of hacks increased per month as BTCs price increased -- 9 unauthorized attempts in April 2017, 19 in May, and 41 in June. There were 425 cases of illegal online transfers of fiat currencies, which is less than of the amount noted by the NPA in 2014. After the Jan. Coincheck hack, Japans Financial Services Agency (FSA) conducted on-site inspections of the 15 as-of-yet unregistered Japanese crypto exchanges. Of the 15, 7 were then given business improvement notices , and 2 had their operations temporarily suspended, due to a lack of the proper and required internal control systems. Continue reading >>

    Someone Stole Almost Half A Billion Dollars From Japanese Cryptocurrency Exchange

    Someone Stole Almost Half A Billion Dollars From Japanese Cryptocurrency Exchange

    Someone Stole Almost Half a BILLION Dollars from Japanese Cryptocurrency Exchange Coincheck, a Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange, has suffered what appears to be the biggest hack in the history of cryptocurrencies, losing $532 million in digital assets (nearly $420 million in NEM tokens and $112 in Ripples ). In 2014, Mt Gox , one of the largest bitcoin exchange at that time, filed for bankruptcy after admitting it had lost $450 million worth of Bitcoins. Apparently, the cryptocurrency markets reacted negatively to the news, which resulted in 5% drop in Bitcoin price early this morning. In a blog post published today, the Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange confirmed the cyber heist without explaining how the tokens were stolen, and abruptly froze most of its services, including deposits, withdrawals and trade of almost all cryptocurrencies, except Bitcoin. Coincheck also said the exchange had even stopped deposits into NEM cryptocurrencies, which resulted in 16.5% drop in NEM coin value, as well as other deposit methods including credit cards. During a late-night press conference at the Tokyo Stock Exchange, Coincheck Inc. co-founder Yusuke Otsuka also said that over 500 million NEM tokens (then worth around $420 million) were taken from Coincheck's digital wallets on Friday, but the company didnt know how the tokens went missing, according to new source Asahi . The digital-token exchange has already reported the incident to the law enforcement authorities and to Japan's Financial Services Agency to investigate the cause of the missing tokens. "We will report on the damage situation and cause of the case, measures to prevent recurrence, but first we would like you to take every possible measure to protect our customers," said Executives of the Financial Services Age Continue reading >>

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    Not sure which package to choose? Try full access for 4 weeks For 4 weeks receive unlimited Premium digital access to the FT's trusted, award-winning business news Be informed with the essential news and opinion MyFT track the topics most important to you FT Weekend full access to the weekend content Mobile & Tablet Apps download to read on the go Gift Article share up to 10 articles a month with family, friends and colleagues All the essentials plus deeper insights and analysis In-depth analysis on trade, emerging markets, M&A, investing and more ePaper a digital replica of the newspaper Gift Article share up to 20 articles a month with family, friends and colleagues FT Newspaper delivered daily plus unlimited digital access Select Purchase a Premium Digital + Newspaper subscription for $11.77 per week You will be billed $66.30 per month after the trial ends The FT delivered to your home or office Monday to Saturday, including the FT Weekend paper and supplements Continue reading >>

    Japan Suffers The Biggest Cryptocurrency Heist In History (again!)

    Japan Suffers The Biggest Cryptocurrency Heist In History (again!)

    Japan Suffers the Biggest Cryptocurrency Heist in History (Again!) Tokyo wants to be the world center for cryptocurrency trading, but now with the $530 million NEM theft from Coincheck those ambitions could be in trouble. TOKYOOn Friday evening in Japan , one of the biggest virtual currency exchanges in Asia, Coincheck , announced that it had lost 58 billion units of the cryptocurrency NEM , worth roughly $530 million dollars, which may well be the biggest cryptocurrency heist in history. For those of us with a long memory, the press conference was eerily reminiscent of Feb. 28, 2014, when Mt. Gox , once the worlds largest bitcoin exchange, declared bankruptcy and announced that it had lost over $500 million worth of bitcoins to hackers. (The figure was later revised down to $430 million.) This new incident is an embarrassment to the Japanese government, which has been trying to make Tokyo the global center for cryptocurrency . According to Coincheck at its press conference on Friday, and on its webpage announcements, hackers first broke into the firms NEM accounts at 2:57 a.m. Friday, local time, on Jan. 25. The security breach went undetected, however, until almost 11:30 that morning. According to sources close to Japans Financial Services Agency, hackers using overseas servers were able to disguise themselves as authorized users and enter the system. They then withdrew large amounts of NEM, spreading the withdrawals out several times during the eight and a half hours they went undetected. Yusuke Otsuka, the chief operating officer of Coincheck, confirmed suspicions that the firms cyber security was subpar when, at the press conference, he admitted that the stolen currency had been kept on-line in a hot wallet rather than a much more secure offline storage facility k Continue reading >>

    Bitcoin News: You Can Now Bet On Bitcoin's Future Value

    Bitcoin News: You Can Now Bet On Bitcoin's Future Value

    Bitcoin news: You can now bet on Bitcoin's future value Bitcoin news: You can now bet on Bitcoin's future value Chicago exchange opens trading on Bitcoin futures Speculators can now bet on Bitcoin's future value, following the cryptocurrency rocketing past $16,000 today. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) Global Markets opened trading on Bitcoin futures (XBT)yesterday at 17:00 CT, at anopening price of $15,000, and it said that 890 contracts had been traded by 19:15 CT. The exchange also said all transaction fees will be waived for the month of December. Future contracts allow investors to trade for bitcoins at a fixed market value, reducing the risk in case the cryptocurrency suddenly pops or drops in value. At the time of writing, the price for Bitcoin is $16,516.97 according to Coindesk . Bitcoin price over the last week - Coindesk When the exchange started trading Bitcoin futures yesterday the price of the cryptocurrency rose from $14,529.89 to $15,732.84. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), a rival to the CBOE, is also expected to launch Bitcoin futures for trading on 18 December. A Tandem Bank spokesperson said: "Although certainly volatile at present, we see considerable opportunity in a number of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin. If anything, the current shift shows that digital currencies are here to stay." Bitcoin climbed $3,000 in 24 hours last week to reach $15,000 but its rise in value has also made it more difficult to use as a trading currency, with games platform Steam dropping support for Bitcoin due to its volatility (see below). Steam, owned by Valve, stopped supporting the cryptocurrency last Wednesday due to its unpredictable value's impact on transaction fees. 07/12/2017:Bitcoin hits $15,000, but Steam ditches support due to market fl Continue reading >>

    North Korea Is A Suspect In The Worlds Biggest Cryptocurrency Heist

    North Korea Is A Suspect In The Worlds Biggest Cryptocurrency Heist

    North Korea is no stranger to cryptocurrencies: The rogue regime has been accused of launching a global ransom attack to raise bitcoin, hacking South Korean exchanges, and mining crypto both within its borders and secretly on your computers . Now, it has become a suspect in the worlds largest crypto heist, Reuters has reported. South Koreas national spy agency told a parliamentary committee on Monday that North Korean hackers may have been behind the theft last month of about $530 million worth of digital tokens from Japanese exchange Coincheck, according to the Reuters report , which cited anonymous sources. On Jan. 26, Tokyo-based Coincheck said someone hacked into its digital wallet and made off with more than 520 million units of a digital currency called XEM , affecting some 260,000 customers . The company admitted that they werent using all the necessary security measures, and promised to use its own money to reimburse customers. Japanese authorities announced that they would investigate all local crypto exchanges for security gaps following the breach. North Korea is believed to be using cryptocurrency to get hard cash amid UN sanctions that are likely putting pressure on its cash reserves. According to a September report from security firm FireEye , North Korean hackers targeted at least three South Korean crypto exchanges with the suspected intent of stealing funds last year, and one of the attacks was successful. When Seoul-based Youbit filed for bankruptcy after losing 17% of its assets in a cyberattack in December, South Korean investigators also looked into North Koreas possible involvement in the hack. The South Korean agency also briefed parliament on Monday that North Koreas theft of cryptocurrency from the South last year was on the scale of tens of mi Continue reading >>

    Japan To Inspect Cryptocurrency Traders After Coincheck Hack | Fortune

    Japan To Inspect Cryptocurrency Traders After Coincheck Hack | Fortune

    Japans financial regulator said on Monday it would inspect all cryptocurrency exchanges and ordered Coincheck to get its act together after hackers stole $530 million worth of digital money from its exchange in one of the biggest cyber heists on record. The theft highlights the vulnerabilities in trading an asset that global policymakers are struggling to regulate and the broader risks for Japan as it aims to leverage the fintech industry to stimulate economic growth. The Financial Services Agency (FSA) on Monday ordered improvements to operations at Tokyo-based Coincheck, which on Friday suspended trading in all cryptocurrencies except bitcoin after hackers stole 58 billion yen ($534 million) of NEM coins, among the most popular digital currencies in the world. Coincheck said on Sunday it would return about 90% with internal funds, though it has yet to figure out how or when. The NEM coins were stored in a hot wallet instead of the more secure cold wallet, outside the internet, Coincheck said. It also does not use an extra layer of security known as a multi-signature system. The FSA said it ordered Coincheck to submit an incident report and measures for preventing a recurrence by Feb. 13. If necessary, it will conduct on-site inspections of other exchanges, an official told a briefing. The regulator said it has yet to confirm whether Coincheck had sufficient funds for the reimbursement. For more on cryptocurrency, watch Fortunes video: Japan started to require cryptocurrency exchange operators to register with the government only in April 2017, allowing pre-existing operators such as Coincheck to continue offering services ahead of formal registration. The FSA has registered 16 cryptocurrency exchanges so far, and another 16 or so are still awaiting clearance. Coinche Continue reading >>

    Over $6.2 Mln In Crypto Assets Lost To Fraud, Hacks In Japan Last Year

    Over $6.2 Mln In Crypto Assets Lost To Fraud, Hacks In Japan Last Year

    Over $6.2 Mln In Crypto Assets Lost To Fraud, Hacks In Japan Last Year A new annual report from Japans National Police Agency shows that over $6.2 mln in crypto was lost to hacks and fraud last year. Over $6.2 mln (662.4 mln yen) of cryptocurrency was lost in 2017 due to fraud and theft, according to statistics released from Japans National Police Agency (NPA), local news outlet Nikkei reports today, March 22. This number does not include the over $500 mln hack of NEM from Japanese crypto exchange Coincheck in late January. Nikkei writes that 16 virtual currency exchanges and 3 companies with crypto wallets -- not noting any by name -- were the victims of all of the 2017 recorded crypto hacks, according to the NPA. Out of the 149 cases of unauthorized access to crypto accounts, in about 80 percent of cases (122 cases) the wallets did not use two-factor authentication, only using ID and password, Nikkei reports. The currencies that make up the largest percentage of the hack are Bitcoin (BTC) (85 BTC lost), Ripple (XRP) (55 XRP), with 13 other altcoins included as well. By NPA data, the number of hacks increased per month as BTCs price increased -- 9 unauthorized attempts in April 2017, 19 in May, and 41 in June. There were 425 cases of illegal online transfers of fiat currencies, which is less than of the amount noted by the NPA in 2014. After the Jan. Coincheck hack, Japans Financial Services Agency (FSA) conducted on-site inspections of the 15 as-of-yet unregistered Japanese crypto exchanges. Of the 15, 7 were then given business improvement notices , and 2 had their operations temporarily suspended, due to a lack of the proper and required internal control systems. Continue reading >>

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