Hackers steal over $600 million in one of the biggest cryptocurrency heists

Hackers steal over $600 million in one of the biggest cryptocurrency heists

cryptocurrency heists

Ronin Network says hackers took Ether, USDC, BNB, XRP, and BAT tokens on March 23. A group called Team Rocket hacked the Axie DAO and drained assets from it.

The Axie DAO is a smart contract that allows players to exchange digital currencies like Ether, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, XRP, and Stellar Lumens into fiat money, such as dollars and euros. On March 24, the team behind Axie Infinity reported that the hack had occurred and that no funds were lost.

Team Rocket took advantage of a vulnerability in the Axie DAO to drain the Ronin Bridge of about 173,600 Ether and about 25.5 million US DC tokens. The Ronin Bridge is part of the Axie Infinity ecosystem.

In addition to the theft of coins, the hackers gained access to the account information of over 3,500 registered users. They could use that data to steal their passwords, exposing accounts to phishing scams.

Axie Infinity is a free-to-play mobile game where players build cities and battle each other. Players earn in-game currency by battling opponents or completing tasks.

Money Stolen by Crypto Hack

A hacker stole $5 million worth of tokens from the Ronin blockchain, a decentralized application built for video games. A security breach occurred around noon ET on Monday, Jan. 14, when someone gained access to the system via email and changed the password for one of the wallet addresses associated with the exchange.

The person responsible for the hack told Elliptic, a digital currency intelligence firm, that he had been able to transfer the stolen funds out of the address where the money was stored. He did not provide further information.

Ronin said it’s in contact with major cryptocurrency exchanges and Chainalysis, a third party cybersecurity firm, to monitor the movement of the stolen funds. The theft was discovered during routine monitoring of the network, said Ronin CEO Andrew Lee. “We are cooperating fully with authorities investigating this matter,” he added.

According to the Ronin blog post, the hacker accessed the account by changing the password for one of Ronin’s wallets. Once inside, the attacker transferred $5 million worth of RON tokens into another address. The hacker then moved those funds out of the original wallet address, which contained both real and virtual currencies.

In response to the incident, Ronin said it suspended trading and withdrawals while it worked to secure the funds. Users can still send and receive transactions, though.

“We’re doing everything we can to ensure that our customers’ assets remain safe,” Lee wrote.

Axie Infinity is a free-to-play game developed by indie studio PlayRaven. Players use tokens called AXE to buy pets and build their team of heroes. They battle each other online, earning coins along the way. Coins can be spent on items like weapons and armor, which players can sell to earn even more cash. Tokens can also be traded for other cryptocurrencies.

‘All-time high’

Cryptocurrencies are still struggling to gain mainstream acceptance despite being around since 2009. A recent report showed that losses from fraud in the Definiton sector hit an all- time high of $474m (£365m) in the first seven months this year, according to research firm CipherTrace. While these figures show a slight improvement on previous years, it is still far lower than the total losses of $2.6bn in 2018.

The biggest drop came in January, when the losses from crime in the entire cryptocurrency market fell to $681m, down from $1.9bn in 2019 and $4.5 billion in 2018. This is the lowest level recorded since September 2017. The number of cases rose slightly to 513, up from 498 in December.

But while there is less money lost due to fraud, losses from crime continue to rise. There were just over 2,500 reported incidents of cybercrime in the first half of 2020, up from 1,858 in the same period last year.


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