Ankr Confirms Multi-Million Dollar Hack

Ankr, a BNB Chain-based decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol, confirmed a multi-million dollar hack on its platform on December 1st. The hack seems to have been first discovered by on-chain security analyst PeckShield at about 12:35 am UTC on December 2nd. 

Ankr has confirmed via tweet that the aBNB token was exploited and that it is working with exchanges to immediately stop the trade of the token which has been compromised. 

The hacker was allegedly able to mint 20 trillion Ankr Reward Bearing Staked BNB (aBNBc), which is a reward-bearing token for BNB staked on the protocol. 

The hacker used services such as Uniswap, Tornado Cash, and different bridges to swap and hide the funds in order to gain about $5 million worth of USD Coin, according to a tweet from on-chain analysis firm Lookonchain. In another post, it added that “all underlying assets on Ankr Staking are safe at this time, and all infrastructure services are unaffected.”

Blockchain security firm Beosin suggested that the hack was a result of the vulnerabilities in the smart contract code combined with compromised private keys, which may have appeared from a technical upgrade from Ankr’s team about 12 hours before the incident. It also noted that this mass minting pushed the price of aBNBc to fall 99.5% from $303.89 to $1.53 in a matter of hours, according to data from CoinMarketCap. “It is possible that the deployer’s private key was exposed in this upgrade, leading to an attacker using deployer privileges to modify the contract,” a Beosin spokesperson said.

The BNB Chain Twitter page also stated that the exploiter’s wallet address has been blacklisted.

In another tweet posted today, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange Binance confirmed that its team is in talks with relevant bodies to investigate the occurrence. It also added that Binance users’ funds are safe.

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