Global cryptocurrency exchange CoinEx has asked hackers to negotiate with the company while also promising a generous bounty reward if they return the stolen assets.

Hackers behind the CoinEx attack were identified as the North Korean-sponsored Lazarus Group.

On September 15, CoinEx stated in an open letter, which it posted on X (formerly Twitter) that the hack incident served as a lesson for the company and made it more aware of its responsibility to ensure robust asset security.

“We encourage you to communicate and negotiate with us actively on the blockchain or through our official email address ([email protected]). If you are willing to return the stolen assets, we will offer you a generous bug bounty as a reward,” CoinEx said.

Furthermore, the firm offered the attackers the opportunity to work with it on future security upgrades.

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According to earlier reports, the CoinEx hack happened on September 12, with attackers draining around $53 million in assets from the platform’s hot wallets.

The incident caused the crypto exchange to pause all deposits and withdrawals due to ongoing investigations.

Meanwhile, the company informed customers in a separate response update that it is still trying to calculate how much money was stolen, but current findings revealed that around $70 million was stolen from the platform — higher than the reported amount.

“Total losses from the incident are still being calculated. As of now, estimated losses are approximately $70 million. However, this only represents a small portion of our total assets,” CoinEx mentioned.

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CoinEx did not state when services would resume but said that withdrawals would reopen in phases following stringent security checks.