Hackers steal $100m from another breached crypto bridge

(Image credit: BTC Keychain (Flickr))

Another crypto bridge company has been hacked, with tens of thousands of valuable Ethereum tokens stolen in a major heist. 

The attack is the work of an as-yet-unknown cybercriminal who managed to siphon out 85,867 Ether tokens from the Harmony bridge, worth approximately $105 million at press time.

A bridge company offers the service of coin transfers between different chains, a service that’s grown extremely popular in the last couple of years. At the same time, these companies have become major targets for cybercriminals everywhere, as they’re often coded with insufficient security, resulting in theft.

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Earlier this year, a similar company called Wormhole was also breached, with the attackers making away with $320 million worth of tokens. Soon after, Ronin Network, a crypto bridge company belonging to the owners of the Axie Infinity game was also compromised, and ended up losing $620 million.

A "humbling" incident

Describing the incident in a Medium post, Harmony contributor Matthew Barrett said the company notified security and exchange partners immediately, as well as the FBI. The hope was, he said, to find the culprit, and retrieve the funds, before they get laundered in crypto tumbling services (essentially crypto laundering services). 

"Harmony believes that focusing on decentralized bridges is an essential step forward for Web3," he said. "This incident is a humbling and unfortunate reminder of how our work is paramount to the future of this space, and how much of our work remains ahead of us."

Most crypto bridges get audited by blockchain security firms, and Harmony was no different. It passed the audit in October 2020, which was conducted by Peck Shield. Still, the security firm said it could not guarantee, with 100% certainty, that the protocol was airtight. 

With more than 20,000 cryptocurrencies operating on various chains, the interoperability between these chains has never been more important. And with plenty of cash in operation, the chains' endpoints will remain a major target for crypto-criminals.

Via: The Register

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.