After reviewing the addresses of wallets used in the heist, some Redditors believe the culprit to be the same hacker or hackers responsible for stealing $5 million in Bitcoin from European exchange Bitstamp almost three years ago. Originally launched as Realcoin and later rebranded, Tether aims to serve as a proxy for the USA dollar that can be sent between exchanges including Bitfinex, Poloniex and other markets.
Tether's cryptocurrency, the USDT, is pegged to the USA dollar. He further explains that this wallet made two small transactions, 0.01BTC each, to the address that has removed $30,950,010 USDT from the Tether Treasury wallet on November 19, 2017 and sent to an unauthorized bitcoin address.
Tether described the incident as a "malicious action by an external attacker".
The company said it's in the process of attempting token recovery so that the stolen funds don't find their way into the broader ecosystem.
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The stolen funds have been moved it to 16tg2RJuEPtZooy18Wxn2me2RhUdC94N7r address. However, it now requires other users to install an update.
We are providing new builds of Omni Core to the community. "Accordingly, any and all exchanges, wallets, and other Tether integrators should install this software immediately in order to prevent loss", the company wrote. Again, any tokens from the attacker's address will not be redeemed.
"A thorough investigation on the cause of the attack is being undertaken to prevent similar actions in the future", the company said in a statement published on its site. "Those tokens will be returned to treasury once the Omni Layer protocol enhancements are in place".
Coindesk also reported that Tether had links to Bitfinex - a Hong Kong-based exchange that reported a hack past year blamed for about $65m of losses - although the report added that the "nature of the connection" was unclear.