On Tuesday, Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck Inc. reported in a blog post that it had spent $435 million in compensation to the 260,000 customers that had been affected by the January hack of its cryptocurrency NEM. The company had previously reported that the hack had resulted in the theft of 523 million NEM coins worth $532.6 million at the time of the hack.
In addition to the return of stolen funds, the company also began to process withdrawals once more, and has reestablished trading in ETH, ETC, XRP, LTC, BCH and BTC. The company plans to continue to restore service in the coming weeks, and will add trading for more cryptocurrencies as appropriate.
Customers have been refunded at the rate of ¥88.549/NEM, which is in line with previous agreements and promises from Coincheck. While that is higher than the current market rate for NEM, it is lower than the ¥110/NEM value at the time of the theft.
Coincheck calls itself Japan’s largest Bitcoin exchange, and it plans to remain in business, although it hasn’t received a license from the Japanese government yet. It has also been warned twice by Japan’s financial regulators to improve its controls and governance.
It has also been reported by the Nikkei Asian Review that the breech in Coincheck’s security may have occurred weeks before the actual theft. Investigators have discovered that internal employees began receiving suspicious emails in early January, and that when the sender’s address was clicked it installed malware on the receiver’s computer.
Several of these emails have been discovered and soon after the malware was installed Coincheck’s systems began communicating with outside servers in the U.S. and Europe. These suspicious communications continued until just prior to midnight on January 25, and after midnight the large amounts of NEM began to be transferred.
The company has been required to submit a written plan to Japan’s financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA) by March 22, detailing system improvements being made to avoid such breeches in the future.