The New Zealand Police on January 15 announced that it has begun an investigation to unravel the events that led to the security breach on Cryptopia, a cryptocurrency exchange based in the region. This was an attack on the platform on January 14, where an undisclosed amount of funds was stolen.
Cryptopia Gets Hacked on January 14
Details of the event that led to the involvement of the law reveal that on January 14, Cryptopia stated that they will be going on “unscheduled maintenance”. Thus, there was a 24-hour downtime before another publication was made on January 15 to notify its customers that they have just suffered a security breach.
It was also revealed that the previous downtime was as a result of the attack. That being the case, the major reason why the site was unavailable was to ascertain the damages that had been caused. The exchange in its tweet also said they will be involving the authorities and specifically, New Zealand Police and High Tech Crimes unit.
New Zealand Authorities Embark on an Investigation
It appears that they had gone through with their plans given that the police a few hours later said they are carrying out an investigation. In their own words, it was “involving potential un-authorized transaction” on Cryptopia. The authorities also added that a significant amount was lost and therefore, they are taking this crime very seriously.
Consequently, a dedicated investigation team will be set up and collaboration will be made with specialist police staff in order to look into the matter. In the same vein, they outlined that early stages of the investigation made it difficult to dish out valuable information at this time.
Coincheck Exchange Was Also Hacked in January
When news of the Christchurch based exchange comes to mind, one can only fall back on Coincheck, a cryptocurrency that was also hacked at this time of the year. This was in January 2018 where the exchange suffered a major loss of $530 million worth of NEM tokens. However, Coincheck is now fully operational and was recently licensed by the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA).
Regulators in the industry have been hammering on customer protection and the vulnerability of some exchanges to attack. Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), for instance, announced on January 8 its approval of 3 cryptocurrency exchanges and rejection of 2. For the latter, the regulators claimed that they were susceptible to attack and did not meet their regulations.