Patricia, a prominent cryptocurrency marketplace in Nigeria, has fallen victim to a significant security breach that has compromised its financial assets. In response to this unforeseen cyberattack, the company has taken immediate action to protect its user base and bolster its security framework.
To address the breach and reinforce its security features, Patricia has temporarily halted user withdrawals as part of an ongoing internal restructuring. The retail trading app associated with Patricia has suspended withdrawals since last week, citing the breach in an email notification sent to customers. The company has clarified that only its retail application, Patricia, was affected by the breach and has expressed its intention to pursue legal action.
According to reliable sources familiar with the matter, the breach occurred in January 2022, resulting in an alleged loss of $2 million for the company. However, RateCaptain cannot independently verify this information.
In an official statement, Patricia confirmed that the breach was limited to its retail trading application, Patricia Personal, and assured the public that all other crypto balances, including those held by customers and merchants, remained unaffected and secure.
The breach, believed to be orchestrated by a syndicate, has raised concerns about Patricia’s financial stability and the safety of its Bitcoin and naira assets. While the exact extent of the compromised assets remains undisclosed, Patricia has collaborated with law enforcement to identify the individuals responsible for the breach. Progress in the investigation was made through the compromise of Naira assets, primarily linked to a specific individual.
To restore normal operations and rebuild customer trust, Patricia has engaged a reputable security firm to conduct a comprehensive audit of its operations. The review will primarily focus on Patricia Personal, the retail arm implicated in the breach. Once the review is completed and approved, customer withdrawals are expected to resume.
This incident involving Patricia serves as a reminder of the challenging cybersecurity landscape that Nigerian fintech companies must navigate. While the Central Bank of Nigeria does not recognize Bitcoin as legal tender and has expressed opposition to integrating cryptocurrency trading into the country’s banking sector, Patricia’s breach highlights the increasing importance of robust security measures for Nigerian crypto exchanges.
Ultimately, the recent security breach and resulting financial losses experienced by Patricia emphasize the critical need for enhanced cybersecurity measures among Nigerian cryptocurrency exchanges. It serves as a reminder for fintech companies to prioritize security and safeguard their users’ assets in the evolving digital landscape.