Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency company Mixin Network has publicly announced a substantial security breach leading to an estimated loss of around $200 million.

The unauthorized access, which was reported by the company on Sunday, took place in the early hours of September 23, 2023, Hong Kong time.

According to the announcement posted on X (formerly known as Twitter), the company’s cloud service provider's database was targeted, resulting in substantial asset losses. As an immediate security measure, all deposit and withdrawal services on the Mixin Network have been suspended indefinitely.

The company is in the process of evaluating the vulnerabilities and will resume services after comprehensive rectification and assurance of robust security.

The company, which describes its offering as an open, transparent decentralized ledger maintained by 35 mainnet nodes, allows users to transfer digital assets through a decentralized exchange and cross-chain network.

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Despite the emphasis on security, privacy, and decentralization on their platform, the breach raises questions about the safety mechanisms in place. The method and means employed by the hackers to circumvent the security of what is believed to be a decentralized network remain unclear.

In a bid to salvage the situation and further investigate the breach, Mixin Network has engaged Google and crypto security firm SlowMist. A spokesperson from Google, Melanie Lombardi, confirmed via email correspondence with that Mixin has engaged Mandiant, a leading cyber incident response firm, for incident response support.

Despite the swift response and collaboration with reputed cybersecurity firms, there’s still a shroud of uncertainty on how the breach occurred and the exact quantum of loss incurred.

Amidst the crisis, Mixin Network has assured stakeholders and users that a resolution for the incident is in the works. An official statement detailing a comprehensive solution to address and mitigate the stolen assets is expected in the upcoming days, although no specific timeline has been provided.

The incident with Mixin Network marks a significant highlight in the cybersecurity challenges facing the crypto industry in 2023. According to data from Rekt, an organization dedicated to listing hacked crypto organizations and projects, the breach at Mixin is currently the largest theft in the cryptocurrency world this year.

The previous record was held by Euler, a crypto lending platform that reported a loss of approximately $197 million in a security breach in March this year.

The emerging details of the breach at Mixin Network reiterate the growing concerns and the imperative need for reinforced security frameworks within the rapidly evolving crypto industry.

As stakeholders, industry players, and users keenly await further developments and resolutions from Mixin, the incident stands as a stark reminder of the critical importance of robust cybersecurity measures and infrastructures in safeguarding digital assets and maintaining the credibility and functionality of blockchain networks and crypto platforms.