Upbit updates cold wallet policy in bid to thwart hackers

Hacking attempts on Upbit have reportedly surged from around 8,400 the second half of 2020 to 159,061 in the first half this year


Rafapress / Shutterstock, modified by Blockworks


Crypto exchange Upbit has started using more cold wallets after dealing with more hacking attempts since 2020.

Hackers reportedly attempted to breach crypto exchange Upbit about 160,000 times in the first half of 2023 alone.

This data, which reveals more than double the number of infringement attempts in the first half of 2021, was shared by Dunamu — the operator of Upbit — with South Korean lawmaker Rep. Park Seong-jung, a member of the National Assembly’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) committee, Yonhap News reported on Monday.

Dunamu reported a substantial rise in hacking attempts on the exchange, surging from about 8,400 in the second half of 2020 to 159,061 in the first half this year. 

Upbit — among the top 20 crypto exchanges by spot trading volume — is believed to have incurred losses of 58 billion won (equivalent to $42.8 million) due to a hacking incident in 2019. 

Following this event, Upbit implemented preventive measures, such as distributing its operating hot wallets, effectively averting any subsequent cyber breaches, according to Yonhap.

In an effort to enhance security further, Dunamu announced its intent to increase Upbit’s cold wallet proportion to over 70% and adopt new procedures for operating hot wallets, designed to make them safer.

Hot wallets are generally considered more vulnerable to hacking and online threats because they are connected to the internet, whereas cold wallets are shield private keys from the risks associated with the online environment.

Rep. Park noted that the increasing frequency of hacking incidents targeting virtual asset exchanges, both domestically and internationally, is a growing concern.

He added that he feels the Ministry of Science and ICT has a vague role in overseeing these exchanges, and emphasized the importance of the Ministry taking proactive steps to address the issue. 

Specifically, he called for the Ministry to carry out simulated security tests and assess the information security landscape to better prepare for cyberattacks, particularly in the context of frequent hacking attempts on virtual exchanges.

The cryptocurrency industry is still relatively young and lacks comprehensive regulation in many jurisdictions. This lack of oversight can attract bad actors who believe they can operate with relative impunity.

Immunefi recently reported that the crypto industry lost $1.4 billion to hacks and fraud so far this year, with $685.5 million lost in the third quarter alone.

Don’t miss the next big story – join our free daily newsletter.


Upcoming Events

Hilton Metropole | 225 Edgware Rd, London

Mon - Wed, March 18 - 20, 2024

Crypto’s premier institutional conference returns to London in March 2024. The DAS: London Experience: Attend expert-led panel discussions and fireside chats Hear the latest developments regarding the crypto and digital asset regulatory environment directly from policymakers and experts.

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Research report - cover graphics (1).jpg


In this report, we dive into crypto private market data to gather insights on where the future of the industry is headed. Despite a notable downturn in private raises, capital continues to infuse promising projects that aim to transform payments, banking, consumer experiences, community, and more, with 2023 being the fourth-largest year for crypto venture capital.


Revolut said that the standalone crypto exchange is currently “invite only”


The stock price jump comes after Coinbase reported ending its seven-quarter run of net losses during the fourth quarter


BUZZ holds shares of Coinbase, Robinhood and MicroStrategy


Opinion: Even though I didn’t pay for my “Diamond Hands” burger with BTC, don’t let that fool you into thinking that crypto’s development is futile


The results mark “a major positive inflection point,” one analyst says, as the exchange carries net income momentum into a crypto rally


While the slate of 10 US spot bitcoin funds have tallied $4.6 billion of net inflows thus far, half of the field is lagging the leaders