In Tether Hack, US$3.1 Million Worth of Cryptocurrency Stolen from Taiwanese Antique Dealer

CHIAYI, Taiwan, Sept. 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — In what is likely the biggest digital theft in the history of decentralized finance in Taiwan, hackers have stolen about US$3.1 million worth of the cryptocurrency Tether from an antique dealer in Taiwan named Liu Kun-Hung.

According to local law enforcement officials in Chiayi, Taiwan, this cryptocurrency was being held in two Tether accounts in the United States, after Liu had made a US$3.1 million payment to the trader in that cryptocurrency.

In early July, Liu noticed that three transfers had been made from his Tether accounts to an unknown cloud wallet. However, neither he nor any of his associates who had access to Liu’s accounts had made any such transactions.

Liu immediately changed the passwords to his accounts several times, but even that didn’t stop the unauthorized transfers. He then reported the cyber theft case to the police. By that time, however, hackers had already relocated the stolen cryptocurrency to 5 different cloud wallets and emptied US$500,000 in cryptocurrency from one the accounts.

"They (the hackers) can steal our personal information from anywhere: from staff or employees, from the communication apps that we use, or even from the platform used to open the account in Taiwan," stated Liu. According to Liu, despite the fact that he changed his passwords several times and that an authorization code is required to make a transaction, the hackers were still able to access his accounts and conduct the heist.

Liu also filed a notice about the unauthorized activity with Tether. Eventually, representatives there were able to freeze the remaining US$2.6 million in the 4 unknown cloud wallets.

According to Taiwan’s Criminal Investigation Bureau, investigators have already identified the hacker’s internet protocol address, and this address is linked to a cloud-service provider in New Taipei City, Taiwan.

The police have stated while the case is still under investigation, based on the information obtained in the initial probe, it appears that the hackers stole the password and vital account information by hacking into the cell phone(s) of Liu’s and/or his employees.

"I won’t be the last victim," Liu declared. "Digital currency uses the most advanced technologies and is supposed to be resilient and powerful in protecting vital information—security is one of the top reasons that we invest in it." He continued, "But apparently that is not the case here. So far, I’ve been very disappointed and frustrated, and I strongly urge Tether and its related operators to help protect others, especially foreign investors like me."

Like Bitcoin, Tether is a cryptocurrency. In fact, it’s the world’s third-biggest digital coin by market value. Tether, however, is very different from other virtual currencies. Launched in 2014, Tether is known as a "stablecoin," which is a type of digital currency that is tied to real-world assets—such as the U.S. dollar—in order to maintain a stable value.

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George Hu

SOURCE Liu Kun-Hung