The Ministry of Science and ICT and the Korea Internet & Security Agency conducted a security audit on 21 local cryptocurrency exchanges between September and December of last year. On Jan. 10, they announced the results of that audit (Korean).

They were not reassuring.

Only seven of the exchanges completely satisfied the audit’s 85 security-related criteria. The other 14 exchanges – no less than two-thirds – suffered from vulnerabilities that left them exposed to hacking or attacks.

The seven that passed were Upbit, Bithumb, Gopax, Korbit, Coinone, Hanbitco and Huobi Korea.

The audit was a follow-up to an earlier audit of the 21 exchanges between January and March. Seven of the failing 14 did not undergo the follow-up audit for internal reasons, including suspended service. The remaining seven failed to satisfy 51 of the 85 recommendations on average.

The Ministry of Science and ICT and the Korea Internet & Security Agency also inspected 17 exchanges they discovered after the initial audit. Those earned unsatisfactory marks in 61 of the 85 tested criteria on average.

Most of the exchanges were seriously lacking in terms of security, missing even basic PC or network security.

Last year, hackers took Korean crypto exchanges for millions of dollars in crypto, including a US$40 million attack on Coinrail and a US$31 million attack on Bithumb.This last one being one of the seven that actually passed the government’s latest audit. The government expects cryptocurrency hacks to continue this year.

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