Binance’s Crypto Dips On Heels of ‘Potential Exploit’

  • Early indications are that Binance’s network has been hacked for hundreds of millions of dollars
  • According to on-chain analysis by BitcoinLinux’s Research, the attacker, or attackers, have managed to “bridge out” to several other chains, including Avalanche and Polygon

The native token of Binance, BNB Chain, appears to have been hacked for hundreds of millions of dollars in what the cryptocurrency exchange earlier dubbed a “potential exploit.”

Binance on Twitter said it had paused its network — sending the price of BNB lower on the news which was down more than 3% to $283 by 7 p.m. ET.

“An exploit on a cross-chain bridge, BSC Token Hub, resulted in extra BNB. We have asked all validators to temporarily suspend BSC. The issue is contained now. Your funds are safe. We apologize for the inconvenience and will provide further updates accordingly,” Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao later confirmed via Twitter.

BSC Token Hub is the bridge between BNB Beacon Chain (BEP2) and BNB Chain (BEP20 or BSC). Binance had earlier said it was temporarily pausing its chain due to “irregular activity.”

Eagle-eyed Twitter users appeared to be the first to identify roughly two million BNB — more than $566 million — that had been transferred to an apparent attacker’s address who has so far managed to bridge out somewhere in the neighborhood of $110 million.

In a post on Reddit at around 7:15 p.m. ET, Binance thanked node service providers for their “quick and attentive response.”

Those providers include Hash, Neptune, TW Staking, BSCScan, Legend, CertiK, Figment, NodeReal, Namelix, Defibit, Fuji, InfStones, MathWallet, Pexmons, Ankr, BNB48 Club, Avengers, Tranchess and Coinbase Cloud.

“Thanks to the community and our internal and external security partners, an estimated $7M has already been frozen,” Binance tweeted shortly after advising users of the exploit.

The wallet address, confirmed by Ryan West, a BitcoinLinux’s Research analyst, shows the wallet has transferred roughly $53 million of BNB to ether (ETH), plus $48 million to the Fantom blockchain, as well as additional funds to the Avalanche, Optimism and Polygon protocols.

The same wallet is blacklisted from Tether, per West.

Roughly $433 million, 80% of the total, remained on the BNB Chain a few hours after the stock market’s closing bell in New York, blockchain analytics firm Halborn told BitcoinLinux.

It would mark the industry’s second-largest hack, following the Axie Infinity Ronin Bridge exploit in March for $625 million.

According to on-chain analysis, the attacker used the cross-chain bridge protocol Stargate to transfer out.  Binance representatives did not immediately return a request for comment.

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