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Hackers steal cryptos worth $321 million from Wormhole network in biggest crypto attack of 2022

Hackers steal cryptos worth $321 million from Wormhole network in biggest crypto attack of 2022
Photo Credit: 123RF.com
3 Feb, 2022
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In one of the biggest crypto hacks of 2022, token migration network Wormhole was breached and 120,000 wETH (wrapped Ethereum) tokens worth $321 million were stolen. Wormhole has assured users the lost ETH will be added to the network.

“The wormhole network was exploited for 120k wETH. ETH will be added over the next hours to ensure wETH is backed 1:1. More details to come shortly. We are working to get the network back up quickly. Thanks for your patience,” Wormhole said in a Twitter post.  

In another tweet, Wormhole said, “The vulnerability has been patched. We are working to get the network back up as soon as possible.” 

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Wormhole is a widely used blockchain protocol that allows crypto owners to migrate tokens and NFTs across different Blockchains such as Ethereum, Solana, Polygon, Avalanche, BSC and Terra without involving a centralised exchange.  

Also read: Crypto scam websites drew 9.6 million visits from Indian users in 2021 

For instance, when a user wants to send tokens from the Ethereum Blockchain to Soalna, Wormhole will lock the Ethereum token in a smart contract, and a new wormhole wrapped token is issued simultaneously on Solana.  

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Attacks on crypto and Blockchain networks have increased. Last month, decentralised financial (DeFi) platform Qubit Finance was breached and cryptos worth over $80 million were stolen. Cybersecurity firm Kaspersky had predicted in a November 2021 report, that cyberattacks targeting the cryptocurrency industry will increase in 2022.  

According to Certik, a smart contract auditing firm, the Wormhole breach occurred on the network’s bridge with the Solana blockchain and it’s believed that a similar vulnerability exists on the bridge with the Terra Blockchain, Cointelegraph reported.  

Cointelegraph reported that after the first hack, the attacker minted 120,000 wETH on Solana and redeemed 93,750 wERH for ETH worth $254 million on the Ethereum network. Rest of the wETH were redeemed for SOL and USDC on Solana. Wormhole team later contacted the attacker using Ethereum address and offered a deal to keep $10 million of the stolen funds and return the rest back.

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