Binance-affiliated Blockchain Victim of $570 million Cryptocurrency Hack
The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, has been hacked, worth $570 million, from its blockchain ‘bridge’.
London: A Binance spokesperson said Friday that a blockchain linked to Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has been targeted in a $570 million hack, the latest in a series of hacks to hit the crypto sector this year.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said in a tweet that the tokens were stolen from a blockchain “bridge” used on the BNB chain, known until February as Binance Smart Chain.
Blockchain bridges are tools used to transfer cryptocurrencies between different applications. They are increasingly targeted by criminals, researcher Chainalysis said in August, with nearly $2 billion stolen in 13 different attacks, most of them this year.
Zhao said in his tweet that the hackers stole about $100 million worth of cryptocurrency. BNB Chain later said in a blog post that the hacker withdrew a total of 2 million BNB cryptocurrencies, worth about $570 million.
The majority of BNB remained in the hackers’ digital wallet address, while around $100 million was not recovered, a Binance spokesperson said in an email.
Backed by BNB Chain, BNB, formerly known as Binance Coin, is the world’s fifth largest token with a market capitalization of over $45 billion, according to data site CoinGecko.
Elliptic, a London-based blockchain researcher, told Reuters that the hacker minted two million new BNB coins before transferring most of the funds to other cryptocurrencies, including Tether and USD Coin.
BNB Chain said in a tweet on Twitter that it suspended the blockchain for several hours before resuming it around 0630 GMT.
BNB Chain said in its blog post that BNB Chain “was able to stop the spread of the incident” by contacting “verifiers” on the blockchain – the entities or individuals that verify blockchain transactions. Without going into details, he added, there are 44 validators in several different time zones.
Described by Binance as a “community-driven, open-source, decentralized ecosystem,” the BNB chain said it will introduce a new “governance mechanism” to counter future attacks, as well as an increase in the number of validators.
In March, hackers stole about $615 million from a blockchain bridge called Ronin Bridge, in one of the largest cryptocurrency thefts on record, which the United States linked to North Korean hackers.
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