Cryptocurrency exchange Livecoin hacked; Rates altered by perpetrators

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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In one of the biggest cybersecurity breaches in recent times, Russian multi-cryptocurrency trading platform Livecoin has been hacked and taken control of altering the rates of several high-profile cryptocurrencies being traded on the exchange.

The attack assumed to be “targetted” and “in planning for several months”, seems to have been conducted in the late hours between December 23 and December 24. Cybercriminals who took over the control of the entire system altered exchange rates of various cryptocurrencies to 10-15 times their normal values.

The exchange price of Bitcoin, one of the prominent cryptocurrency across the globe was changed considerably from the nominal $23,000/BTC to more than $450,000/BTC. While another major cryptocurrency Ether saw its price swell from $600/ETH to $15,000, the price of Ripple was increased from $0.27/XRP to more than $17/XRP.

The exchange, through a notification on its website, warned users against depositing funds, trading and using its service API. Ranked as the 173rd cryptocurrency exchange on the internet, Livecoin roughly conducts transactions worth $16 million every day.

In its statement to the media, Livecoin stated that “Hackers appear to have taken control of the Livecoin infrastructure and then proceeded to modify the exchange rates to gigantic and unrealistic values.”

“We lost control of all of our servers, backend and nodes. Thus, we were not able to stop our service in time. Our news channels were compromised as well,” the firm said in its statement.