Cyberattack brings a cryptocurrency exchange to its knees

Youbit cryptocurrency exchange declares bankruptcy after second hack in eight months

Youbit lost almost 20 per cent of its assets

In short, the more value that Bitcoin creates, the more appealing the currency will be to malicious hackers.

However, that security has again been compromised.

South Korean exchange Youbit announced on its website today that it is closing down after a hack early Tuesday, December 19, 2017, that resulted in the loss of 17 percent of its assets.

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Although Youbit is one of the smaller bitcoin exchanges, the hack underscores the risk involved in leaving funds on an exchange, where control of those funds is handed over to a third party and is only as safe as whatever security measures that exchange chooses to use. The firm is now filing for bankruptcy, the first for a digital currency exchange in Korea.

The cyber attack is the second for Youbit, previously known Yapizon. The company allegedly lost 17 percent of its value to cyber attacks.

Cybersecurity researchers tell Newsweek that the activity is part of a worrying trend relating to hackers from Bluenoroff, a subgroup of the North Korean hacking group Lazarus famous for the Sony Pictures hack in November 2014.

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The exchange added that the hackers were unsuccessful in stealing more because much of its assets were stored in a so-called cold wallet: a secure store that holds currency that is not being traded.

The Crypto Company's share price had risen 1,700 percent between the end of September and Monday evening before the Securities Exchange Commission intervened to halt trades until January 4. Starting at a meager $880 in January of this year, the crypto soared well past $10000 within in the past month and well over $15000 in the few weeks, potentially approaching $20,000 in the next couple days.

Only a day earlier, Blockchain CEO Peter Smith warned CNBC viewers that the time was ripe for another major hack in the Bitcoin space.

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These attacks come at a time when regulation of the sector is a pressing issue, with the relevant authorities in South Korea now focusing on tightening up relevant regulations in the region.

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