Russian crypto-exchange Livecoin has been hacked and has lost control of some of its servers, warning customers to avoid using its services. It is believed that the assault occurred in the night between December 23 and December 24.
Livecoin is listed as the 173rd online cryptocurrency exchange, with about $16 million in regular transactions. The website has been operating since March 2014.
Livecoin described the incident as a “carefully planned attack, which has been prepared, as we assume, over the last few months.”
“Hackers appear to have taken control of the Livecoin infrastructure and then proceeded to modify the exchange rates to gigantic and unrealistic values,” reports ZDNet.
The hackers tweaked the exchange rate for Bitcoin from the regular $23,000/BTC to more than $450,000/BTC, Ether grew from $600/ETH to $15,000, and Ripple price increased from $0.27/XRP to more than $17/XRP.
Once the exchange rates were modified, the mysterious attackers began cashing out accounts, generating gigantic profits.
“We lost control of all of our servers, backend and nodes. Thus, we were not able to stop our service on time. Our news channels were compromised as well,” the company said in the message.
It was not immediately clear whether the client funds were affected by the infringement.
CoinGecko charts show that Livecoin normally handles around $50 million in daily trading volume. In the last 24 hours, however, the volume has risen to $805 million.
Although the main web-based exchange platform is down, Livecoin is now advising users to avoid depositing funds and transactions through other interfaces, such as the site’s API and smartphone apps.
As happens in other cryptocurrency hacks, a number of users have cried out for foul play and are now alleging that the whole hack was an inside job, suspecting an exchange of pulling the exit scam.
Livecoin said it contacted the local law enforcement authorities.