In December 2020, hackers invaded Livecoin cryptocurrency and took over their servers. The company was forced to shut down operations and give up the domain that was stolen.
Livecoin, a Russian cryptocurrency exchange, was hacked on December 24, 2020, and was forced to relinquish its servers to hackers who took over with a “carefully planned attack.”
After threat actors took over, they changed the bitcoin rates to extremely high exchanges. For example, at the time, the fair market price for Livecoin was worth $24,000, hackers hiked it up to $300,000.
Along with losing control of its servers, Livecoin also lost its domain (Livecoin[.]net. They have since moved operations to another domain Livecoin[.]news.
The Livecoin[.]net website showed a message from the hackers that said,
“Oops! Time is over Livecoin… Good try Livecoin. But no… You have 2 days left…”
Livecoin decided to move operations on January 16, 2021, to its new domain and website. They were quoted as saying,
“Our service has been damaged hard technically and financially. There is no way to continue operative business in these conditions, so we take a hard decision to close the business and pay the remaining funds to clients.”
What Happens Now?
Unfortunately, in the wake of the tragic takeover, Livecoin customers lost $3.3 million ($5.4 million in U.S. dollars). The company plans on refunding their remaining funds to their damaged customers. They have hinted that they may start over modifying their infrastructure and company model. Their new website displays a message with all the details about their financial and technical issues. They are working with authorities to investigate the incident and try to bring justice to the situation.
What About the Victims?
Livecoin is doing its best to take care of the victims. Users are urged to contact Livecoin via email with verification details such as their name, email, username, and registration date. The exchange has agreed to pay all of its remaining funds to its customers. Anyone who is a victim needs to put in their reimbursement request by March 17, 2021. After that, the company will no longer be accepting them or paying out any additional funds.
To obtain reimbursement, Livecoin requires that each victim supply them with the following information to verify their identity:
- Passport scans.
- First transaction data.
- Residence information.
- High-resolution selfies.
- The device used to access the platform.
- A video of their first incoming transactions withdrawal.
A Warning to the Public
Livecoin also issued a warning to the public that many unofficial chat groups claiming to be from Livecoin have popped up to spread misinformation about the fraud and trick users. They issued a statement saying,
“Participating in these groups you run a high risk, because we [do not have any] groups,” and their website is the main and only source of information from the exchange.”
The exchange further warned to avoid trying to contact them through media channels as they too are fake and not owned by them.
Tips for Cryptocurrency Users
Some tips for cryptocurrency users to remain safe are:
- Do not invest all your cryptocurrency with the same exchange. As with other forms of currency, diversify so if your investor experiences a data breach or hack, you will not lose everything.
- Secure your accounts with two-factor authentication.
- Always use strong passwords on all your financial accounts. The best passwords are passphrases made up of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols.
- Never connect to your accounts using public Wi-Fi.
- Invest in a VPN to mask your IP and keep your online activity private.
- Use common sense, and if an investment seems too good to be true, it probably is.