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Hackers Ring In New Year With Massive $81M Orbit Chain Exploit

Hackers Ring In New Year With Massive $81M Orbit Chain Exploit

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Cross-chain project Orbit Chain fell victim to a major exploit, resulting in the protocol losing $81 million. The exploit occurred less than three hours before the new year. 

As a result of the hack, the price of the Orbit Chain’s native token, ORC, fell by almost 20%. 

Orbit Chain Suffers Major Exploit 

While the world celebrated, hackers targeted yet another crypto ecosystem project. Hackers exploited the Orbit Bridge, the bridging service of the cross-chain protocol Orbit Chain. As a result, the protocol lost $82 million just hours before the new year. News of the exploit first emerged on X, where pseudo-anonymous X user Kgir drew attention to the exploit in a post on the 31st of December. 

The post highlighted a series of large outflows originating from the Orbit Chain Bridge protocol. Others, such as on-chain sleuth Officer CIA and blockchain security firm Cyvers, also alerted users about the exploit. 

“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 doesn’t.”

Orbit Chain also informed users about the hack in a post on X, stating, 

“Dear Orbit Bridge Users, An unidentified access to Orbit Bridge, a decentralized Cross-chain protocol, was confirmed on Dec-31-2023 at 08:52:47 PM +UTC. Further information regarding the issue will be updated.”

The protocol stated that it is investigating the incident and will publish a comprehensive analysis once it identifies the root cause of the hack. It also stated that it was coordinating with international law enforcement agencies. 

Details Of The Hack 

Data from blockchain analytics platform Arkham Intelligence has revealed that the hackers stole around $82 million from the protocol. According to blockchain sleuth Officer CIA, the hackers could have accessed seven out of ten multisig signers. Hackers stole the assets in five separate transactions, which consisted of $30 million in USDT, $10 million in USDC, $21.7 million in ETH, $9.8 million in WBTC (Wrapped Bitcoin), and $10 million in DAI. All of these assets were transferred to fresh wallets. 

The Orbit Chain protocol also has links with the Klaytn Network, a modular Layer-1 blockchain. According to data from the Klaytn block explorer, eight of the largest assets on the Klaytn network are wrapped assets on the Orbit Bridge. 

Orbit Chain was launched in 2018 as a multi-asset blockchain focusing on cross-chain transfers between decentralized networks. The protocol is generally used to transfer assets between EVM-compatible networks and Klaytn. As a result of the hack, the price of the protocol’s native token, the ORC token, dropped by nearly 20% over the past 24 hours. Currently, the token is trading at $0.057, down 20.37%. 

More Scammers In The Fray

While one set of hackers have stolen $82 million from the Orbit Chain protocol, another set of scammers are trying to orchestrate phishing scams to trick gullible users. Scammers are impersonating Orbit Chain on X, asking users to click on a phishing link, claiming to offer them reimbursement for the losses that occurred due to the hack

However, closer inspection revealed that the scammers were using the wrong spelling of Orbit Chain. However, the shocking part is that the scammers have a gold checkmark and a square profile picture, indicating an official organization account. However, the Orbit Chain account does not even have a blue tick. Orbit Chain has informed its users that any account offering reimbursements is fake.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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