Orbit Chain Hackers On The Move With $48 Million

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Cryptocurrency investors were sent into a tizzy after dormant funds from the December Orbit Chain heist were spotted in Tornado Cash, the notorious blockchain anonymizer. Hack that stole a staggering $48 million (now rising to $121 million due to market fluctuations) went serene for months, leading many to believe that ill-gotten gains were gathering dust in a digital vault.

The elusive hacker strikes again

Then, like a digital specter, the hacker re-emerged, transferring nearly $50 million worth of stolen Ether to a recent wallet before passing it through Tornado Cash, a service known for its ability to cover up cryptocurrency transactions. This laundering maneuver makes it extremely complex, if not impossible, to trace stolen funds and return them to their rightful owners.

Orbital chain hack: motive unclear

The motive behind the hacker’s sudden action remains a mystery. Some speculate that this could be a response to Orbit Chain’s recent revival of some bridging services that allow users to transfer crypto assets between different blockchains. This may indicate that the hacker is preparing to withdraw money, or it may simply be an attempt to further confuse investigators.

Orbit Chain itself did not provide any information. Despite assurances that they are cooperating with authorities, the cause of the break-in remains shrouded in mystery. The protocol also failed to address users’ concerns about potential refunds, leaving many investors feeling lost in the digital ether.

ETH currently costs $3,674. Chart: TradingView

This incident highlights the inherent security vulnerabilities in DeFi platforms. While they present an enticing picture of decentralized finance, investors may be at risk due to a lack of regulatory monitoring.

The search for missing millions, now obscured by a digital smokescreen, has become much more intricate.

Cryptocurrency crime is growing

Amid a disturbing trend of increasing cryptocurrency theft, the latest data shows that hackers managed to steal digital assets worth $540 million in the first quarter of 2024. This represents an augment of 42% compared to the same period last year. The decentralized finance (DeFi) industry, valued at over $100 billion in total locked value (TVL), is particularly at risk due to decentralized exchanges.

AND web3 platform with bug bounties found that DeFi was the top target of exploits in the first quarter, indicating significant security vulnerabilities compared to centralized finance (CeFi) platforms.

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Hacks accounted for the majority of these losses, accounting for 96%, while fraud accounted for only 4%. The most attacked blockchains were Ethereum and BNB Chain, with Ethereum experiencing over 30 individual attacks.

Featured image from Pexels, chart from TradingView


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