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Ankr Crypto Network compromised by a hack worth $5 million


As the crypto market remains in disarray, hackers continue to keep their foot on the accelerator. In 2022, investors have seen more frequent and more costly hacks. This trend is still continuing as bad actors descend on the Anchor (ANKR-USD) network. Quick reactions from developers and exchanges might lessen the pain, but hackers still stole the network from millions of people.

Indeed, even as the global crypto market capitalization continues to decline, hacks remain on the rise. In 2021, the market exploded, reaching a whopping $2.8 trillion. Naturally, hackers have turned their efforts more directly to the crypto market for its ease and wild speculation. By the end of the year, global market capitalization and the number of assets stolen throughout the year had reached an all-time high. An estimated $2.1 billion was stolen throughout the year.

This year, these two measures diverged. The crypto market capitalization is taking a nosedive. Where it once headed for $3 trillion, it now barely clings to $800 billion. However, the hacks haven’t calmed down at all – in fact, the hackers have become more aggressive. By the end of the third quarter, over $3 billion in assets had been stolen.

These bad actors always seem to cling to crypto simply because it’s much easier to hack into a less secure project than to steal financial data elsewhere. And with the networks that aggregate massive entire swaths of assets on the chain, successful hacks have yielded prizes of up to $650 million.

Simply put, hackers aren’t slowing down even if the crypto values ​​themselves go down. The Ankr hack that happened this week is proof enough of that.

Ankr Hack Drains $5 Million Network

Who needs cryptocurrency prices to be high when you can take a coin and make a few quadrillion of them? That’s what a hacker did in the latest cryptographic exploit, one that targeted the Ankr network.

Hacking this network, according to Lance Morginn, president of the Blockchain Intelligence Group, revolves around a Binance (BNB-USD) called staking reward token Ankr Reward Bearing Staked BNB (aBNBc-USD). According to the group’s investigation team, the address of an Ankr deployer has been compromised. The hacker was able to use this address to mint a whopping six quadrillion aBNBc on Binance’s BNB chain.

After hitting this mass of tokens – during which the prices of aBNBc fell from $300 to just $1.50 – the hacker traded the aBNBc for BNB and other assets. Among these assets were $4.5 million of USD coin (USDC-USD). The hacker then exchanged these assets for Ethereum (ETH-USD) and mix them with Tornado Cash. It should be noted that Tornado Cash is a crypto tool facing US government sanctions specifically for its use by hackers to launder funds.

Ankr developers confirmed the hack last night shortly after it happened. After requesting a halt to all relevant transactions on the BNB chain, Binance quickly obliged and halted withdrawals. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said the company managed to freeze $3 million in assets related to the hack.

The developers have already announced a tentative plan to reimburse investors affected by the hack. The network will create a new redeemable token called ankrBNB to investors, while rendering aBNBc unrecoverable.

As of the date of publication, Brenden Rearick had no position (directly or indirectly) in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, subject to InvestorPlace.com publishing guidelines.

Brenden Rearick is a financial news writer for InvestorPlace’s current market team. It primarily covers digital assets and tech stocks, with a focus on crypto and DeFi regulation.



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