Cryptopia Hack Still a Mystery as the Authorities Investigate

Following the hacker’s attack on the New Zealand based cryptocurrency exchange, Cryptopia, there hasn’t been an official announcement which would reveal the exact amount of funds lost or which coins were affected by the hack.

The exchange only took to Twitter to inform their clients that they “cannot comment as this matter is now in the hands of the appropriate authorities,” and that they will publish an update as soon as they can.

Those attempting to log in to the exchange will encounter the following announcement:

“14th January 2019, the Cryptopia Exchange suffered a security breach which resulted in significant losses. Once identified, the exchange was put into maintenance while we assessed damages.

Cryptopia has notified and is cooperating with the appropriate government agencies, including the NZ Police and High Tech Crimes Unit. Please see their media release.”

The police stay tight-lipped

Even though users are forced to wait for the police report, the authorities still failed to provide more details to the anxious community.

On January 15th, they released the following statement:

“Police were advised late yesterday of an issue involving potential un-authorized transaction activity at the Christchurch based crypto-currency trading company Cryptopia.

A significant value of crypto-currency may be involved, and the police are taking this very seriously. (…)A dedicated investigation team is being established in Christchurch including specialist police staff with expertise in this area. Police are also liaising with relevant partner agencies in New Zealand and overseas.

The investigation is still in its very early stages, and police are unable to provide further information tonight.”

Yesterday evening, they released another statement in which they explain that, despite working with exchange’s officials, the investigation is still in the early stages, so they are unsure of what exactly happened and how.

Cryptopia cooperating

“We would also like to make clear that Cryptopia is cooperating fully with the investigation team,” reveals the police report, adding that media reports claiming that police stormed the building are entirely incorrect.

“While police are unable to go into details about specific steps being taken at this stage, we can say that our focus includes commencing both a forensic digital investigation of the company and a physical scene examination at the building,” states the latest update on the situation, also explaining that they “are dealing with a complex situation and are unable to put a timeframe on how long the investigation may take.”

The authorities are keen to reassure users that their “priority is to identify and, if possible, recover missing funds for Cryptopia customers,” but that “there are likely to be many challenges to achieving this.”

Users want to know

Meanwhile, as the media speculates if the hack is worth $3.6 or $2.4 million, users are worried about their funds stored on the exchange and demand details.

Twitter user Rana Naeem sent a message: “Don’t make your problem, the problem of your customers. Now please open the website so we can access our funds and remove them to safer places.”

There are also those who understand the situation. One of those is Twitter user The Arbitrary Lens, who said: “They can’t legally do anything. Once it’s in police hands, you do as you’re told or face legal ramifications.”

According to Binance’s CEO, Changpeng Zhao, the major cryptocurrency exchange has frozen tokens that were sent to its wallet by the alleged Cryptopia hackers. Users alerted Binance of suspicious transactions, resulting in a “token quarantine”.

The communications agency can’t provide details

We have contacted Cryptopia about the ongoing investigation and have been redirected to talk to the Hotwire communications agency, also representing a tech giant Logitech.

In the email answering our inquiry, the agency also stated that they cannot comment as this matter is now in the hands of the appropriate authorities and that they will update their customers and us as soon as possible.

It seems that we will have to wait longer than anticipated to get more information about the attack. In the meantime, we cannot help but repeat the already worn out phrase: not your private keys – not your funds.

Luka Kapetanic

An ex-restaurant business owner turned cryptocurrency fanatic, with over 12,000 followers on Miner, Investor, trader and, above everything else - a writer, with, and in his jobs portfolio.

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