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Bank in Japan Catches Source of $60M Zaif Hack

A subsidiary company working for one of the biggest banks in Japan revealed that the hackers who attacked the Japanese cryptocurrency exchange platform Zaif and stole $60 million early 2018 have been identified.


 

Investigative Attempts by MUFG Bank

JDD is a subsidiary company for MUFG, considered among the biggest financial institutions in Japan. The company teamed up with researchers in the field of cybersecurity to try to follow the stolen assets because the attackers seemed to have made and attempt transfer them to another location and to launder them into fiat.

The attack on Zaif took place last September and the loss was $40 million from users’ funds and $20 million from the exchange itself. They were a mix of BTC, BCH, and MONA.

The latter crypto, a less popular coin called monacoin with a $73 million market cap, was the reason that allowed the researchers to gather data on the hackers. They used a group of MONA nodes that are hosted via clouds to inspect any transactions that might involve the missing money and reveal any clues that could lead to the hackers’ identities such as their original IP address.  

JDD disclosed that when the MONA coin started moving on 20 October, they were able to estimate the source of five transactions they were looking into and gave that information to the concerned authorities.

The statement by the company mentioned that the direction of the leaked digital currency was monitored by static analysis within the blockchain. They were able to find IP addresses through using the node for that cryptocurrency within a larger scale after its overflow.

Zaif Users Waiting to Be Compensated

Zaif is a crypto exchange platform that is licensed with the FSA so such a loss is huge for the agency, which is quite different from what happened with Coincheck which lost $530 million back in January. The FSA reacted strongly to the hack and provided a business improvement order for Zaif. They announced their regret at having kept Zaif active despite many warnings.

A few weeks after that, Zaif’s owner, a company called Tech Bureau, announced in a statement that its whole stake in the platform is being sold to Fisco Digital Asset Group, a Japanese firm that’s listed publicly. The deal is set to be finalized by November 22 and Fisco then will be in charge of compensating any users who lost funds as a result of the hack.

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