Crypto exchange HTX and its DAO hacked, Justin Sun assures users

abdelaziz Fathi

Crypto exchange HTX (formerly known as Huobi Global), along with its decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), said they recovered from a Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack that temporarily disrupted their services.

Justin Sun

Crypto entrepreneur and HTX advisor Justin Sun confirmed the restoration of services after an outage lasting nearly 15 minutes. Through his social media account on X, Sun assured the crypto community, adding that the exchange’s website was back online and that all user funds were secure (“SAFU”).

The DDoS attack led to a brief suspension of services on both HTX and its DAO. This type of cyberattack involves overwhelming a network with a flood of internet traffic, aiming to render it inaccessible to legitimate users.

This incident follows a previous security breach that HTX and its sister exchange, Poloniex, encountered months earlier. That hacking attempt resulted in a loss of over $200 million. However, Sun reported that all losses were covered and customer assets remained secure.

The recent DDoS attack on HTX coincides with a report from blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis, which noted a 54.3% decrease in illicit revenue from crypto hacking in 2023. This trend was attributed to improved security practices within the DeFi (decentralized finance) protocols.

HTX had also experienced a hacking incident on November 10, in which $97 million was stolen from the exchange and the Heco Chain blockchain protocol.

Justin Sun, who is also the founder of the Tron blockchain protocol, said in late 2023 that HTX scored a profit of $98 million during the third quarter, despite various challenges in the crypto space. Sun shared that HTX, along with associated companies, generated a total of $202 million in revenue during the three months through September 2023. However, expenses of $104 million were incurred, resulting in a net profit of $98 million for the quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the de facto owner anticipates revenues of $190 million, with expenses of $88 million, resulting in an estimated profit of $104 million.

While Justin Sun’s outlook is positive, HTX faced serious issues in recent months, including security breaches. Sun claimed that the exchange had fully covered the losses and assured users that their funds were safe. Additionally, the exchange reduced its staff count from 2,500 to 900, citing revenue-related challenges.

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