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Wormhole from the Solana network suffers the heist of the year: 321 million dollars vanishes from its platform!

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Wormhole, the token bridge linking the Solana ecosystem to Ethereum, has announced that it was the subject of an attack where almost 120,000 wETH, or the equivalent of $321 million, disappeared on the platform. To date, this breakage is the second largest hacking act that the decentralized finance sector has experienced.

Wormhole is a cross-chain application developed on the Solana network that allows the transfer of tokens from one blockchain to another. The crypto is known as a “bridge ” that allows the transfer of crypto assets from the Solana ecosystem to Ethereum. But in reality, its cross-chain linking function connects many more ecosystems.

Whether you have assets on Ethereum, Solana, BSC, Polygon, Avalanche, Oasis, and Terra, you can cross-transfer between these blockchains using Wormhole.

What Happened?

In the afternoon of Wednesday, 2nd of Feb, around 9 p.m. (GMT), wormhole informed its users that its platform had been hacked. As a result, the network was down for maintenance while the company investigated a potential attack. Wormhole said on Twitter:

The wormhole network was mined for 120k wETH. ETH will be added over the next few hours to ensure wETH is supported 1:1. More details to come soon. We are working to quickly restore the network to service. Thank you for your patience.

According to a Cointelegraph article, the attack had taken place since 13:24 (ET). Four minutes later, at 1:28 p.m., the hacker had converted 93,750 WETH of his loot into ETH tokens. The hacker bought SportX (SX), Meta Capital (MCAP), Finally Usable Crypto Karma (FUCK), and Bored Ape Yacht Club Token (APE). The other part of his hoard would have been converted to the USDC stablecoin.

Wormhole Tries To Reassure Investors

After the announcement about the act of hacking, the platform made another release in which it claimed that the breach has been fixed. Wormhole tweeted:

The vulnerability has been patched.

We are working to restore the network to service as soon as possible.

Among other things, Wormhole officials offered $10 million to the hacker to return the funds.

In addition, players involved in the Solana ecosystem are calling for help for the token bridge. In his interview with Coindesk, George Harrap, founder of the Solana DeFi Step Finance platform, invites users to support Wormhole. He dropped:

If no one supports it and the coins are truly lost, then Wormhole ETH is worthless and everyone holding a balance of it loses all value, DeFi protocols, users, everyone.

Vitalik Buterin Was Already Sounding The Alarm

In a post on Reddit in January, the co-founder of Ethereum already warned the market about the flaws in cross-chain applications. According to him, the problems of cross-chain projects will accumulate due to ” fundamental limits of bridge security “. Here is an excerpt from his argument against bridge apps.

Now imagine what happens if you move 100 ETH across a bridge on Solana to get 100 Solana-WETH, and then Ethereum is 51% attacked. The attacker deposited a bunch of his own ETH into Solana-WETH and then reversed this transaction to the Ethereum side as soon as the Solana side confirmed it. The Solana-WETH contract is now no longer fully collateralized, and perhaps your 100 Solana-WETH is only worth 60 ETH. Even if there is a perfect ZK-SNARK based deck that fully validates the consensus, it is still vulnerable to being stolen by 51% attacks like this.

On the other hand, Vitalik believes that multi-channel applications will have a better chance of surviving in the future.

1 Comment
  1. […] there was another hack on the Token Bridge Wormhole, which lost around 320 million US dollars in the process. This incident comes as little surprise to […]

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