Crypto Platform Nomad Hacked; Nearly $200 Million Stolen

It’s happened again, folks. Another digital currency heist is in the books. This time, it’s cryptocurrency bridge platform Nomad that’s the latest victim of a cyberattack, having lost as much as $190 million at the time of writing.

Nomad Has Lost a Lot of Money

Nomad is a unique company in the sense that it bridges blockchains together. This makes several blockchain technology platforms compatible and opens a lot of doors that would often prevent digital currency enterprises from working with each other.

These kinds of attacks are becoming more common given crypto exchanges themselves have boosted their security measures in recent years due to the heavy number of attacks that have occurred in the past. Thus, they are becoming harder targets, and bridge companies – given the paths they create to separate digital enterprises – have become the new objects of several hackers’ affections.

Tom Robinson – a chief scientist at blockchain analysis firm Elliptic – explained how a bridge company works in a recent interview. He stated:

I deposit my bitcoin in the bridge. In return for doing that, I receive a bitcoin token on the Ethereum blockchain. Then I can transfer that bitcoin token, which is what is known as a wrapped asset, through the Ethereum blockchain… You need to trust the bridge really has the assets that are backing those tokens. They have huge amounts of assets that back those wrapped tokens… They’re just huge honeypots. They just hold huge amounts of crypto assets, and so they are obvious targets.

To date, as much as $1.83 billion in crypto has been stolen from bridge firms. Much of that – around $1.21 billion – has been stolen just in the first eight months of 2022 alone, meaning hackers are becoming privier to how companies like Nomad work.

A similar scenario to recently take place involved Harmony, a crypto bridge firm situated in northern California. The company lost as much as $100 million in crypto funds practically overnight, with many blockchain analysts labeling North Korea as the likely culprit behind the attack. The country has long been engaged in crypto theft and related activity as a means of funding its ongoing nuclear program.

Getting the Units Back

Nomad recently put out a statement to its customers saying that it was working with law enforcement agents to better understand what happened and figure out a way to reobtain the funds. Nomad said:

We are working around the clock to address the situation and have notified law enforcement and retained leading firms for blockchain intelligence and forensics. Our goal is to identify the accounts involved and to trace and recover the funds.

Not long ago, Nomad participated in a funding round that led to the garnering of more than $22 million in new money from enterprises like Coinbase and Crypto.com.

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