Crypto hackers may have just carried out the biggest cryptocurrency heist in history.
(Photo: Jakub Porzycki / NurPhoto via Getty Images)
The representation of the Bitcoin cryptocurrency can be seen in this illustration photo taken on August 10, 2021 in Sulkowice, Poland.
A staggering $ 600 million worth of crypto was stolen from the PolyNetwork protocol, known for allowing users to exchange crypto coins across a variety of blockchains, according to a report by Bloomberg. PolyNetwork itself confirmed the hack by posting a letter on its Twitter calling the as yet unknown hackers directly:
– Poly network (@ PolyNetwork2) August 10, 2021
Of the $ 600 million worth of stolen cryptocurrencies, however, $ 33 million of the stablecoin Tether was frozen by its issuer. This means that the hackers no longer have access to this special cryptocurrency, even if they have managed to steal it.
So far, a security researcher called SlowMist claims that they managed to identify the hacker’s IP address, email, and even device fingerprints. Additionally, SlowMist said the attack was likely a coordinated attack that, by its nature, was planned well in advance. The attack affected tens of thousands of crypto users, although Poly Network did not specify how many.
According to PCMag, the Ethereum and Binance chains were among the cryptocurrencies that were the target of the attack. As a result, Poly Network urged users not to accept transactions with wallets controlled by hackers. Other crypto providers have also blocked transfers from hacker-controlled wallets to prevent them from spending the stolen amount.
Also read: How to protect your cryptocurrency wallet from hackers
Crypto Security: Not So Foolproof
One of the greatest advantages of crypto is that it uses encryption whenever a transaction needs to be verified. Cryptocurrency got its name from exactly what makes it as secure as possible: cryptography, also known as ciphers and codes, according to Kaspersky.
But of course that doesn’t mean that every cryptocurrency is safe from hackers. There have been numerous robberies over the years, and all of them have resulted in an insane amount of money being stolen.
About two years ago, a hacking operation stole $ 40 million worth of Bitcoin from Binance. The hackers targeting the company’s “hot wallet” definitely knew what they were doing because the “hot wallet” is always connected online and is often used for its liquidity. A “cold wallet”, on the other hand, is offline. Granted, Binance only had 2 percent of all of its bitcoins on its “hot wallet,” which meant the hackers were stealing a fraction of what the company actually had.
(Photo: Getty Images)
Another hack that happened just last year resulted in the hackers getting away with around $ 200 million worth of crypto. The attackers, who call themselves CryptoCore, succeeded in harassing a total of five people from the USA, Japan and the Middle East. Until the Poly Network hack, this was one of the biggest heist in decentralized finance (DeFi) history.
A lesson to learn
If you are investing in crypto during a time like this, these hacks should provide you with a very important life lesson: be very, very careful. Your investment is inherently digital. Therefore, no matter how “secure” it is, it can still be hacked and stolen.
Related: Hacker Arrested for Using Verified High-profile Twitter Accounts in 2020 Crypto Scam
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Written by RJ Pierce
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