The largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, Binance, reported on Friday that scammers had stolen cryptocurrency worth about $100 million.
The entire amount taken was $580 million, but according to firm chief Changpeng Zhao, over 80% of it had been instantly frozen, and the harm was just about $100 million.
The exchange’s designated currency, BNB, was produced more than necessary due to “an exploit” in the system, he said in a tweet, but he asserted the problem had been “controlled” and assured his seven million followers that “your monies are safe.”
An exploit on a cross-chain bridge, BSC Token Hub, resulted in extra BNB. We have asked all validators to temporarily suspend BSC. The issue is contained now. Your funds are safe. We apologize for the inconvenience and will provide further updates accordingly.
— CZ 🔶 Binance (@cz_binance) October 6, 2022
It ranks among the largest thefts in the history of cryptocurrencies and occurs during a year in which criminals who prey on the industry have made off with billions of dollars.
The Axie Infinity blockchain game was compromised for more than $500 million in late March, which was the most detrimental event.
Both schemes took advantage of flaws in “cross-chain bridges,” which allow investors to transfer assets between different blockchains.
The largest blockchain is bitcoin, but there are many of others. Blockchains are digital ledgers that contain information about transactions.
A total of 2 million BNB were “withdrawn,” according to Binance, the market leader who boasted of handling transactions worth $32 trillion last year. This puts the value of the heist at $580 million.
Zhao later confirmed that the majority of the coins had been locked in an interview with MSNBC.
A $600 million theft was discussed on social media late on Thursday, hours before the company released its first comment.
Someone on BNB just had their account compromised for (about) 2 million BNB, according to a developer going by the handle foobar.
The attacker is flooding liquidity pools with money and using every available bridge to cross to safer chains. total disorder on the chain
All year, security breaches on cross-chain bridges have been raised by experts.
Bridge vulnerabilities, according to Chainalysis, a crypto analysis company, have been responsible for about $2 billion in thefts so far this year.
Bridges “tend to gather enormous quantities of locked assets on various blockchains, many of which may not have advanced security or auditing cultures because to their relative obscurity,” according to a research this week by Elliptic, another analytical firm.
“This has historically made bridges a desirable target for cybercriminals,” it continued.
Governments all across the world are worried that cryptocurrencies are being used to support oppressive governments, evade sanctions, and finance terrorism.
Some of the most well-known heists, including the Axie Infinity breach, are thought to have been carried out by groups with ties to North Korea, according to experts.