Zaif Exchange hackers Exposed by Japanese cyberspace experts

Hack Hacking Haxxors

Dennis Wafula

November 6, 2018

Zaif Crypto Exchanger was on September 14 hacked, leading to the loss of 6.7 Billion Yen ($60 Million). The exchanger engaged the services of cyberspace security experts to track the lost funds. Japan Digital design Co. (JDD), a subsidiary of Japan’s largest bank, Mistubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) was contracted to track the funds. Yesterday, November 5, they announced that they could have possibly unearthed the chain used to launder the funds.

Funds denominated into cryptos

JDD was working in cohorts with Takayuki Sugiura at Information Security Consultancy L             Plus and security experts from cyber security team TokyoWesterns. The team announced that it had been tracking the flow of the funds from immediately after the hacking. The press release added that the money was denominated into digital coins namely 5966 BTC and the rest in BCH and MonaCoin. It is the latter coin that helped the experts track the funds, which started being moved late last month (from October 20). They flagged five of the transactions which were reported to the authorities.

The investigating team said that focus was on the remittance route of the stolen funds, analyzing it and looking for clues from the hack such as the hackers’ IP address. They reported to have obtained helpful data to verify the accuracy of the evidence obtained so far as well as the costs associated with monitoring Zaif Exchange’s transactions.

Growing cases of Cyber theft

The hacking adds to a rapidly growing list of cyber theft recorded in the island country of Japan. A report released in September indicated that within the first half of 2018, over 60 Billion Yen worth of cryptocurrency was stolen from Japan.

With the help of infrastructure from multiple cloud services, the investigating team conducted a hackathon that was able to divulge incriminating evidence pertaining the five transactions used to move the funds. The remittance route was “analyzed through a static analysis of the blockchain by deploying the virtual currency node at a large scale,” part of the report read.

Improvement order issued by FSA

Zaif Exchanger is accredited by Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA), which left the latter agency with an egg in the face. It went on to issue an Improvement Order against Tech Bureau, the company that operates Zaif Exchange.

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