Inside Job Suspected As Huobi Wallet Falls Victim To $263,000 Exploit

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According to multiple reports, iToken, formerly known as Huobi Wallet, fell victim to a crypto heist in the last week, leading to the loss of $263,000 worth of users’ assets. The incident draws much attention following recent police investigations into some of Huobi’s former staff.

$263,000 Drained From Huobi Wallet – Could There Be An Internal Involvement?

Providing more insight on this latest exploit, prominent security firm Peckshield reported that this event occurred on October 3, with the drainer stealing a total of $263,000 USDT and 92 TRX minted on the Tron network.

Thereafter, the bad actor proceeded to swap these stolen funds for approximately 2.9 million TRX, of which 1.4 million TRX was transferred to the ChangeNOW exchange, and 1.5 million TRX was moved to Binance. 

#PeckShieldAlert @iToken, formerly known as Huobi Wallet was suspected to have been drained of ~263K $USDT & 92 $TRX on #Tron ~3 days ago.

The drainer swapped these stolen funds for ~2.9m $TRX and subsequently transferred them out.

~1.4m $TRX was sent to #ChangeNow, and ~1.5m… pic.twitter.com/yv4sTfj8cV

— PeckShieldAlert (@PeckShieldAlert) October 7, 2023

Currently, there are speculations that this heist was orchestrated by the internal staff of Huobi as such development would be unprecedented. In September, the Chinese Police were reported to have arrested a former Huobi team member for implanting a Trojan horse virus that resulted in the exposure of the private keys and mnemonic phrases of some iToken users.

Launched in 2018, iToken functions as a professional DeFi wallet, which enables the storage of various digital assets across multiple networks. It was initially known as the Huobi wallet, as earlier stated, but was rebranded iToken in 2022, following a $200 million investment from the Huobi Group.

Growing Controversy Around Huobi? 

In addition to speculations of insider involvement in this recent heist, Huobi, now rebranded as HTX, has been in the news recently and not for positive reasons.

On September 25, the exchange fell victim to a hack that drained 5,000 ETH worth $7.9 million. However, the exchange’s advisor and Tron founder, Justin Sun, soon came out to assure users of total asset recovery and security of the exchange’s operation. 

However, this week, crypto expert Dylan LeClair wrote a thread on X accusing the Tron Visioneer of creating a “web of deception.” This marks the second time in recent weeks Justin Sun has been accused of malicious dealings involving users’ assets on Huobi.

According to LeClair, ever since Sun acquired a controlling stake in Huobi in late 2022, the amount of USDT held on the exchange has been gradually replaced by stUSDT, a receipt token for staking USDT.

The stUSDT token is controlled by Justin Sun and is supposedly designed to invest in real-world assets such as US government bonds. However, LeClair stated that on-chain analysis and transactions show no such investment. 

The crypto analyst also drew attention to “worrying” transactions by Justin Sun involving JustLend, a Tron-based DeFi lending platform,  and other stablecoins, including USDT and USDC, before concluding that the Tron Founder is maliciously moving USD liquidity out of the crypto space. 

At the time of writing, HTX’s native token, HT, hovers around $2.36 with a 0.74% gain in the last day, according to data from CoinMarketCap. Meanwhile, HT’s daily trading volume is up by 10.64% and is valued at $3.47 million

Huobi

HT trading at $2.34 on the hourly chart | Source: HTUSDT chart on Tradingview.com

Featured image from Bloomberg, chart from Tradingview

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