Hacked exchange Cryptopia has recently been given by New Zealand’s authorities the green light to “open again whenever they like,” roughly a month after hackers accessed it wallets and stole cryptos estimated to be worth several millions of dollars.
According to local news outlet NZ Herald, inspector Greg Murton has revealed authorities “finished the main part of the work required by the High Tech Crime Group” at the cryptocurrency exchange’s business premises, and that although some staff remain there “finishing up aspects of their work,” the exchange is free to reopen.
Murton was quoted as saying:
Cryptopia management have full access to their facilities and business premises and the Police investigation is not preventing their business from getting up and running again.
The detective inspector, however, refused to comment on exactly how much was stolen from Cryptopia’s wallets, or on whether any changes have been implemented. Despite the green light to reopen, at press time Cryptopia’s website is under maintenance, with a message explaining what happened to its users.
While some experts have estimated hackers managed to take around $23 million in the attack, the exact figure is unclear. The hack itself was an unusual one, as according to an investigation conducted by Elementus 76,000 wallets were penetrated in the attack, meaning thousands of private keys were obtained.
Elementus’ research only used ERC-20 tokens, including Ethereum token evidence, and found that in the attack there was a glaring “lack of urgency,” as it lasted weeks, while usually attacks on exchanges are fast and only see one wallet get breached.
— Cryptopia Exchange (@Cryptopia_NZ) January 28, 2019
Murton, speaking to the NZ Herald, refused to comment on whether the hackers kept stealing funds after police started its investigation, or on whether some of the stolen cryptocurrencies had been frozen by another exchange.
An unnamed Cryptopia staff member reportedly told the news outlet he had no idea whether it would reopen, as he was “relying on police bulletins and the media for updates.” Meanwhile, the hackers behind the attack have already cashed out $3.2 million, $2 million of which through decentralized exchange EtherDelta.