CoinEx and Stake Have Both Been Hacked, and the Perpetrators Are Now Selling Cheap Tokens

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Last Updated on October 3, 2023 by Bitfinsider

Investigators using blockchain analytics have discovered a person connected to a cryptocurrency laundering scheme who is selling tokens that were taken from recent, well-publicized exchange hacks at a reduced cost.

A representative of the blockchain security company Match Systems described how research into multiple significant breaches involving comparable techniques during the summer of 2023 has led to the identification of a person who is purportedly peddling stolen cryptocurrency tokens via peer-to-peer transfers.

The detectives were able to locate and get in touch with a person on Telegram who was offering pilfered goods. The team received a modest transaction from the associated address and verified that the user was in charge of an address holding more than $6 million in cryptocurrency.

Next, a specially designed Telegram bot that provided a 3% discount off the token’s market price was used to swap the stolen assets. After a few early talks, the address’s owner announced that the first assets up for grabs had been sold and that new tokens will be released in about three weeks: “Maintaining our contact, this individual notified us about the commencement of new asset sales. Based on the available information, it is logical to assume that these are funds from CoinEx or Stake companies.”

The Match Systems team has received multiple screenshots and chat timings, but they have not been able to fully identify the individual. Based on this, they have narrowed down the individual’s location to a European time zone: “We believe he is not part of the core team but is associated with them, possibly having been de-anonymized as a guarantee that he will not misuse the delegated assets.”

Additionally, it was alleged that the person behaved erratically and unstablely during several contacts, cutting off talks suddenly and apologising by saying things like: “Sorry, I have to go; my mum is calling me to dinner.”

$50 million worth of TRX, Ether, and BNB coins are featured in the user’s most recent offering on Telegram. The transfer of stolen cash from the Stake robbery was previously described by blockchain security company CertiK. Of the $41 million in total, about $4.8 million was laundered through various token movements and cross-chain swaps.

Later, the North Korean hackers from the Lazarus Group were identified by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation as the ones responsible for the Stake assault. SlowMist, a cyber security firm, also connected the North Korean hackers to the $55 million CoinEx hack.

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