615 million dollars stolen in the form of cryptocurrency, can the hacker really disappear with the money?

(ETX Daily Up) – The Ronin network, used for the online game “Axie Infinity”, fell victim to a hack a week ago. The hacker(s) managed to steal the equivalent of $615 million in cryptocurrency. Beyond the technical challenge, complicated to understand the motivations of the thief. Because his little jackpot may be very difficult to sell…

This hack could be the biggest theft in the still young history of digital currencies. Ronin Network, the network behind one of the most popular NFT-based games, “Axie Infinity”, published a blog post in which the company admits to having been the victim, a week earlier, of one more theft of $615 million. More precisely, these are 25.5 million dollars in the form of stable currency (the price of these currencies hardly varies) and 173,600 Ethereum, the second cryptocurrency on the market currently valued at 3,396 dollars per unit.

A week to realize that we have lost more than 600 million dollars, that seems a bit enormous. In reality, it was thanks to a user that the platform discovered the deception. The client just wanted to withdraw 5,000 ether, but the platform kept refusing him. He finally contacted the company’s support, which was able to resolve the problem: there were no longer enough tokens to carry out transactions. To seize the company’s treasure, the hacker(s) took possession of the “validators” of the network.

Hard to escape with the money

In the Ronin Network blockchain network, to accept a deposit or withdrawal, it is imperative that five of the nine signatures of the network of validators validate the transaction. Clearly, the information held on the blockchain network (here money) passes in front of so-called validator blocks which will verify that the information is correct and corresponds to the consensus rules (here the rules of the company) . Except that in the case of the Ronin network, the validators were corrupted thanks to private keys coupled with human error thus unlocking the safe.

And now then? Can the hacker really grab this money and fly off into the wild? As soon as the news fell, the various trading platforms such as Binance, Coinbase or even FTX indicated that they offered their help in tracking down the sums now in virtual wallets. Thanks to blockchain technology, it is possible to track transactions in real time of the address concerned. Everyone can thus follow the movement of the currency. For their part, trading platforms can implement protocols to detect compromised tokens.

To prevent future issues, Ronin Network has increased the number of validators from 5 to 8 to validate an operation. The company is already working with several government agencies to try to bring those responsible to justice.

Axel Barre

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615 million dollars stolen in the form of cryptocurrency, can the hacker really disappear with the money?

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