Axie Infinity, Ronin Network Lose $625 Million in Hack Attack, Ether and USD Coin Stolen

Ronin Network validator nodes for Sky Mavis, the parent of NFT game Axie Infinity, were breached by hackers. A whooping amount of $625 million (roughly Rs. 4,729 crore) have been stolen in the form of Ether and USD Coin tokens, making it the largest-ever loot to have been extracted out of a blockchain hack. The Ronin Network is an Ethereum-linked sidechain built by Sky Mavis specifically for blockchain gaming. It acts as a bridge between the video game and the blockchain, allowing cryptocurrencies to be transferred in and out of the game.

“Earlier today, we discovered that on March 23, Sky Mavis’s Ronin validator nodes and Axie DAO validator nodes were compromised resulting in 173,600 Ethereum and 25.5 million USDC drained from the Ronin bridge in two transactions,” Ronin Network said in a blog post.

The attack was identified after a user was unable to withdraw Ether tokens from the Ronin bridge.

“Sky Mavis’ Ronin chain currently consists of nine validator nodes. In order to recognise a Deposit event or a Withdrawal event, five out of the nine validator signatures are needed. The attacker managed to get control of Sky Mavis’s four Ronin validators and a third-party validator run by Axie DAO (decentralised autonomous organisation),” the blog added.

Ronin Network is working with Chainalysis to track the stolen funds.

Certain features of the breached network have been temporarily disabled to prevent any more loss of finances.

Crypto exchanges that were linked to the servers have been roped in by Sky Mavis to “reach out to all” in the coming days.

A legal investigation has also been launched in case.

Last year in August, hackers breached blockchain-based platform Poly Network and extracted more than $600 million (roughly Rs. 4,480 crore) in cryptocurrencies, marking DeFi’s biggest hack ever.

Overall, cyber criminals last year stole over $1.3 billion (roughly Rs. 9,606 crore) from hacking the blockchain sector, a report by blockchain research firm CertiK had claimed.

Hackers continue to flock to the digital assets sector given its growth in popularity and finances.

In February this year, crypto platform Wormhole Portal lost $322 million (roughly Rs. 2,410 crore) in a hack attack, making it the second largest breach to have hit the decentralised finance (DeFi) sector.

Infact just last week, Li Finance (LiFi), a blockchain protocol become the latest victim of notorious hackers who stole nearly $600,000 (roughly Rs. 4.5 crore) from 29 crypto wallets associated with it.

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