Russian crypto exchange Livecoin appears to be under the control of hackers after a cyberattack hit just before Christmas.
Livecoin says the culprits have locked admins out of the network, leaving them unable to shut down to protect users from potential losses.
BTC and ETH prices were heavily inflated on the platform — to $450,000 and $15,000 respectively — pushing Livecoin’s trade volume over $350 million from $50 million.
Livecoin devs briefly regained control of their site to post a warning, but the page now demands a Bitcoin ransom. The platform’s app, which allows trading, deposits, and withdrawals, is likely still online.
There’s no word on how much the attack has netted or whether user funds are secure. Early reports however indicate profits are high.
Some onlookers have speculated this could be an inside job, with Livecoin promising to be already working with authorities.