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HomeCryptocurrencyCrypto Heists: Hackers steal about $600 million

Crypto Heists: Hackers steal about $600 million

Crypto Heists: Hackers steal about $600 million

In one of the biggest crypto hacks to date, when hackers stole roughly $600 million from a blockchain network related to the famous Axie Infinity online game. Axie Infinity’s Sky Mavis and the Axie DAO’s nodes, which enable a so-called bridge software that allows individuals to change tokens into those that can be used on another network, were hacked, with the attacker emptying the Ronin Bridge of 173,600 Ether and 25.5 million USDC tokens in two operations. According to Ronin, the blockchain that powers Axie Infinity, the compromise occurred on March 23 but was first identified on Tuesday. 

How hackers pulled off the biggest ever cryptocurrency heist - Crypto Heist  | The Economic TimesThe incident is the latest example of how bridges are frequently beset by issues. Many people’s coding isn’t audited, allowing attackers to exploit flaws. It’s not always apparent who runs them or how they operate. Validators’ identities, who are intended to arrange transactions on bridges, are frequently unknown. Thousands of bridges exist, transporting hundreds of millions of dollars in cryptocurrency. The fact that no one observes for six days screams that some framework should be in place to monitor unlawful transactions, according to Wilfred Daye, head of Securitize Capital, Securitize Inc’s asset management arm.

What is Axie Infinity, and what's behind its price surge? — QuartzAfter the breach was revealed, the price of Ron, a token used on the Ronin blockchain, plummeted by around 22%. According to CoinMarketCap, AXS, a token used in Axie Infinity, has dropped as much as 11%. In a blog post, Ronin stated that it is in contact with key cryptocurrency exchanges as well as blockchain tracer Chainalysis to track the stolen monies’ movements. Ronin also said that it collaborates with law enforcement. Ronin did not respond to demands for comment right away. According to blockchain forensics firm Elliptic, the stolen monies were sent to two bitcoin exchanges. Several exchanges recognized the breach but did not confirm that monies had been transferred.

The FTX cryptocurrency exchange, which is run by Sam Bankman-Fried, said in an email that it would help with blockchain forensics. Binance Holdings Ltd. and OKX issued similar statements, with Binance stating that it is working with specific law enforcement agents on potential leads, but without providing further details. The Ronin hack comes after the Wormhole bridge was hacked in February, resulting in losses of more than $300 million, which were reimbursed by one of Wormhole’s sponsors, Jump Crypto. Other crypto bridges had experienced “rug pulls” when their founders vanished, as well as problems when key developers went rogue.

Blockchain project Ronin hit by $615 million crypto heist | ReutersAccording to Tom Robinson, co-founder of Elliptic, the difficulty in this scenario was that the bridge was very centralized. The theft occurred because someone compromised the Ronin Bridge’s ‘validator nodes.’ If five of the nine validators agree, funds can be transferred out of the bridge. The hacker obtained the secret cryptographic keys of five of the validators, which was sufficient to steal the crypto assets.

Bridge hacks may jeopardize the entire ecosystem of decentralized programmes, or apps, ranging from gaming to financial services. Typically, a bridge would accept a user’s Ether and deposit it in a smart contract. The user would then be given an identical amount of wrapped Ether, which may be used to invest in apps on non-Ethereum blockchains such as Ronin or Solana. If the underlying Ether is taken, the wrapped Ether becomes worthless, resulting in significant losses for apps and their users. Jump Crypto backed out of Wormhole last month to save the entire Solana ecosystem from a direct strike. Sky Mavis and Ronin have yet to make any such announcements.

Hacker swindles $625 million in ETH from Axie Infinity's Ronin Network  crypto gaming platform | ShacknewsCryptocurrency has grown in popularity, as has its value, but it has also become a tempting target for tech-savvy crooks. According to the company, the hack on Ronin Network’s blockchain netted 173,600 ether and $25.5 million in stable coins, a digital currency tethered to the US dollar. 

According to Sky Mavis, the Philippines accounts for over 35% of Axie Infinity traffic and the majority of its 2.5 million daily active users. Its popularity is fueled by a high level of English proficiency, a strong gaming culture, and extensive smartphone use. Players must initially buy at least three Axis to play the game. An Axie is a non-fungible token (NFT) with a specific set of skills and traits. They’re a lot like NFT paintings.

It isn’t just a few lucky traders who are reaping the benefits of cryptocurrency. In the last year, hackers have stolen billions of dollars in virtual assets by infiltrating some of the cryptocurrency exchanges that sprung up during the bitcoin boom. This year, a digital thief stole at least $10 million in digital currency from a crypto exchange or project in more than 20 attacks. According to statistics obtained by NBC News, hackers stole more than $100 million in at least six incidents. According to the FBI’s yearly crime stats, bank robberies netted culprits an average of less than $5,000 each robbery last year.

Trust' Is Never a Given | Central European AffairsCryptocurrencies are known for their security, and their name is derived in part from the word “encryption.” However, the exchanges that administer them, particularly new ones that are starting from scratch, frequently have a small workforce with few, if any, full-time cybersecurity expertise. Their programmers may work feverishly to make the code function, and they may unintentionally include loopholes that allow hackers to get access. Transactions are a particularly attractive target for criminal hackers because a turbulent market often leaves them with a large sum of money.

Cryptocurrency exchanges function similarly to regular money exchanges in that they set values for various currencies and charge a small fee to allow customers to trade them. While a few nations have tight rules in place, internet entrepreneurs may start up an exchange almost anywhere globally and run it in any way they want.

Edited by Prakriti Arora

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