Livecoin has announced its closure following a cyberattack that allegedly compromised the firm's infrastructure and exchange rate setup.
As previously reported by ZDNet, the Russian cryptocurrency exchange claimed it had been hacked roughly around Christmas, with the alleged cyberattackers seizing control of Livecoin systems in order to tamper with exchange rate values.
Bitcoin (BTC) exchange rates were changed from $23,000 at the time to over $450,000, and Ethereum grew from $600 to $15,000. Smaller cryptocurrency rates were also impacted.
As Livecoin asked users to stop all activity, the threat actors began cashing out, reaping profit in the process.
Livecoin claimed to have lost control of its "servers, backend, and nodes," and was unable to stop the attack from occurring. The cryptocurrency exchange said law enforcement had been notified of the security incident.
It has not yet been a full month since the alleged cyberattack and Livecoin is closing its doors permanently, citing damage in "technical and financial way[s]" for the decision.
In an announcement posted to livecoin.news, the organization said there is "no way" to continue operations and any "remaining funds" will be paid to customers.
Fund recovery plans or amounts are not yet public, beyond claimants being required to email the cryptocurrency exchange directly with their usernames and registration dates. Livecoin says that claims can be filed until March 17, 2021.
As noted by Coin Telegraph, one apparent user of the service has posted what is claimed to be an extensive list of documentation and personal information to verify claimant identities, including passport/ID scans, selfies, places of residence, primary device data for logging in to Livecoin, and video footage. On Twitter, the request for this vast array of personal data has prompted speculation around its legitimacy.
"We apologize for an existing situation and ask you to keep calm, including your conversation with support officers," Livecoin added. "Our service and team bear hard losses as well as our clients. In case of abuse and threats in conversation, the claim can be declined."
Livecoin's old website domain displays the message below, but no comment has been made concerning any potential ransomware attack.
Livecoin's Telegram chat is currently alight with speculation. Some have suggested that an exit scam is in play, which is a popular method for cryptocurrency exchange operators to vanish with user funds while claiming external cyberattackers have stolen cryptocurrencies held by a victim organization.
Previous and related coverage
- 2020's worst cryptocurrency breaches, thefts, and exit scams
- Cryptocurrency 101: What every business needs to know
- FICO launches cryptocurrency trade risk solution for banks
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