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Cybercriminals stole over $82 million worth of cryptocurrency just hours before the new year began by taking use of Orbit Bridge, a bridging service of the cross-chain protocol Orbit Chain.

In an official X statement, the Orbit Chain team verified the occurrence and mentioned that they are working with web3 auditing company Theori to determine “the root cause of the issue.” Without providing further information, the team stated that it is “actively interacting with international law enforcement agencies.”

Cybercriminals Get Busy On New Year’s Day The attackers penetrated the protocol on “Dec-31-2023 08:52:47 PM +UTC,” according to the official confirmation. The developers are currently working together with foreign law enforcement agencies to identify the primary cause of the incident.

PeckShield Inc., a blockchain security company, conducted a preliminary inquiry that turned up $81.5 million in losses in stablecoins and other cryptocurrency over five different transactions.

Source: PeckShield Recently, on X (previously Twitter), cryptocurrency influencers and blockchain security specialists such as @officer_cia verified the attack through their tweets.

SlowMist concluded an initial external investigation and found evidence of a potential security breach in the Orbit Chain bridge or compromised centralized server. To learn more about the hack, the company is carrying out a more thorough investigation.

The blockchain analysis tool Arkham Intelligence has reported that five distinct transactions using cryptocurrencies took $81.68 million out of the system.

Total crypto market cap at $1.61 trillion on the daily chart: TradingView.com 2018 saw the South Korean introduction of Orbit Chain, which facilitates cross-chain transactions between various decentralized protocols. The protocol transfers assets between EVM-compatible networks and the modular layer-1 blockchain Klaytn, with strong ties to the latter.

Klaytn commits to give prompt updates and is in regular communication with Ozys to evaluate the situation. It’s believed that Orbit is Klaytn’s biggest bridge supplier.

The Klaytn Foundation has not been affected by the Orbit Bridge hack. We’re currently reaching out to Ozys to assess the situation and will provide an update as soon as possible.

— Klaytn (@klaytn_official) January 1, 2024

After many significant outflows from the Orbit Chain Bridge protocol, anonymous X (formerly Twitter) user Kgjr discovered the possible protocol vulnerability from cybercriminals. On Twitter, a number of other blockchain analysts shared same findings.

Looks like orbit bridge is getting drained right now, different fresh wallets for wbtc usdt usdc and dai, test tx’s showup on orbit bridge scanner but bigger ones doesnt. Wallets bellow pic.twitter.com/zlUbT0HrO2

— Kgjr (clueless333) (@KGJRTG) December 31, 2023

Big Losses In 2023 The incident increased the overall amount of money lost to cybercriminals in 2023 by a few more million. Popular Web3 security company SlowMist reports that 462 hacks in all caused outflows over $2.4 billion in the course of the year.

The Orbit crew reassured the protocol users that they were actively contacting law enforcement to request support and that a root cause investigation was in progress.

Moreover, Orbit Chain disclosed a user compensation plan. In order to receive a refund, users had to go through a verification process and determine their eligibility.

Featured image from Pixabay

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Christian Encila Christian, a journalist and editor with leadership roles in Philippine and Canadian media, is fueled by his love for writing and cryptocurrency. Off-screen, he’s a cook and cinephile who’s constantly intrigued by the size of the universe.

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