Hackers Successfully Stole $320 Million Worth of Cryptocurrency From The Most Used Blockchain

By Kristi Eckert | 4 months ago

NRA blockchain

Cryptocurrency is known to be a risky investment because of the volatile nature of decentralized banking. Since cryptocurrencies are not attached to a centralized institution similar to how the US dollar is connected to the federal reserve, its value can skyrocket and plummet without warning. Despite market volatility, however, cryptocurrencies are known for being less susceptible to theft because of the blockchains that the assets live in. Blockchains are developed with virtually impenetrable security protocols that track and protect crypto acquisitions and transactions. Still, everything has a weak point, and according to CNBC a group of hackers found it, exploited it, and siphoned $320 million worth of cryptocurrency from two of the biggest blockchains in existence – Ethereum and Solona. 

The hack, however, didn’t occur within the blockchains themselves. It happened on a bridge called Wormhole that connects Ethereum to Solana. Bridges like Wormhole exist because oftentimes individuals with cryptocurrency have their investments stored within different blockchains. A report by the cybersecurity firm CertiK showed that the hacker was able to identify a vulnerable point on the Solona side of the Wormhole bridge. They used that vulnerability to plant “wrapped” or counterfeit Ethereum coins that they swapped for real ones as they traveled along the Wormhole pathway. 

Wormhole informed the public via Twitter that something had gone awry. They simply stated that the network was down for maintenance and that they would keep individuals abreast of what was going on. They preceded to thank users for their patience. Take a look at the official Tweet below. 

Wormhole’s announcement perked the ears of crypto-holders and concern spread like wildfire. Even Wormhole’s official website remained down for a considerable amount of time following the incident. The initial concerns were more than warranted. Ultimately CertiK was able to determine that the cyber attacker successfully grabbed $251 million worth of Ethereum, $47 million of Solana, and even nabbed $4 million of the USDC stablecoin cryptocurrencies from the blockchains.

cryptocurrency

The amount of cryptocurrency that was siphoned from the blockchains is concerning to those who weren’t even affected by the hack simply because of how volatile cryptocurrency values are. A hack like that could easily cause Ethereum and Solona values to take a nosedive. However, despite concerns, Wormhole has asserted that they have the means to back the losses so that the crypto values remain stable. They tweeted their assertions. 

Even if Wormhole can back the lost funds, it won’t serve to negate the growing efforts of hackers attempting to exploit blockchains and bridges like Wormhole in the interest of illegally bolstering their own financial gains. “The $320 million [dollar] hack on Wormhole Bridge highlights the growing trend of attacks against blockchains protocols,” explained CertiK co-founder Ronghui Gu. It’s clear that Wormhole’s serve a necessary purpose now, but Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin is insistent that eventually, these seemingly necessary bridges will no longer exist between blockchains. Buterin detailed that this has to happen because of “fundamental limits to the security of bridges.” At this point, those with cryptocurrency can only hope the Buterin statements do come to fruition and that Wormhole’s promise to back the lost currency was expressed in truth.