It seems that even though many people damn cryptocurrencies after sharp price falls, they are still interesting enough for hackers. Last week, we saw another massive hack in which Harmony lost a total of about $ 100 million. This is yet another in a series of attacks on cross-chain bridges, which are becoming a popular target for attackers. The company offers a reward for returning cryptocurrencies, but the success of this step is also very questionable, given the amount.
Another hundred million hack
The attack was reported by Harmony itself, according to which the disruption occurred on June 24th in the morning. The attacker focused on their cross-chain bridge called Horizon, which allows users to move assets between Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain and Harmony. According to Elliptic, a blockchain analysis company, a total of $ 99.7 million in assets were stolen. Specifically, the cryptocurrencies Ether (ETH), Binance Coin (BNB), Tether (USDT), USD Coin (USDC), Dai (DAI), but also other, smaller coins and tokens such as (WBTC, AAVE, WETH, FXS, SUSHI, FRAX, BUSD and AAG).
“The Harmony team has identified a theft occurring this morning on the Horizon bridge amounting to approximately $ 100 million. We have begun working with national authorities and forensic specialists to identify the culprit and retrieve the stolen funds.”
Neither side of this hack starts, and they take the first steps. According to the published information, Harmony already cooperates with law enforcement authorities as well as with various companies dealing with forensic blockchain analysis. The attacker swapped stolen cryptocurrencies for ETH through the decentralized Uniswap exchange, which is considered a common technique in similar hacks. All funds are currently in a single wallet, with a balance of 85 867 ETH.
The attack is one of the biggest, but only in recent weeks
It is striking throughout the event that Harmony was directly warned of the vulnerability. This was done in April by blockchain developer Ape Dev, who pointed out the weak security of their network. The fact that the Harmony team could have prevented a similar attack raises many questions in the crypto community.
The Harmony DeFi protocol gained popularity among users last year but has suffered the same fate as many others. In the first quarter of 2022 alone, more than $ 1.2 billion was stolen from DeFi protocols. Given that this is a very young industry, we can assume that similar attacks will not be anything special in the future. In a similar attack, hackers managed to steal more than $ 600 million worth of assets from Poly Network.
Will a $ 1 million reward be enough?
Based on the message entered in the ETH transaction, it appears that Harmony is willing to have a dialogue with the attacker. For the return of stolen funds, in addition to a reward of one million dollars, they promise they will not make any official accusations against him. These conditions should motivate the hacker to return cryptocurrencies, and a similar procedure has been quite successful in the past. The Poly Network company recovered $ 600 million, and the attacker even received a job offer from them.
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However, the promised reward did not help in further attacks on the Wormhole and Ronin cross-chain bridges. In addition, the community is beginning to question whether $ 1 million is enough to return $ 100 million. It may seem like an attacker’s defence, but the truth is that Harmony defacto pays for its own mistake, which they could have prevented from abusing. How this whole case turns out is the hacker’s decision now. If you know something about the entire case and can help to catch the attacker, the reward is also for you, and you can contact Harmony at [email protected]