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DeFi Exploiter Drains Over $180,000 From CoW Swap DEX

2 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird
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In Brief

  • CoW Swap has been exploited, with over $180,000 stolen.
  • The attacker made away with funds in DAI, BNB, and ETH.
  • The platform is a new kind of DEX that makes use of the “Coincidence of Wants.”
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CoW Swap, a comparatively new decentralized exchange (DEX), has been exploited. The attacker has siphoned over $180,000 in funds.

Hackers are currently exploiting the CoW Swap decentralized exchange and moving the funds. At least $123,000 in DAI, $50,000 in BNB, and $7,400 in ETH are moving using two wallets.

Crypto service PeckShield reported on the incident, detailing how the exploit actually took place:

The attacker seems to have used CoWSwap’s GPv2Settlement contract and was tricked ten days ago into approving SwapGuard for DAI spending. This was followed by using triggering SwapGuard to transfer out DAI from GPv2Settlement. The SwapGuard function reportedly allows anyone to make arbitrary function calls. The current sum that is exploited exceeds $180,000.

The exploiter appears to be active as recently as a few hours ago. Some are also reporting that others are using the same exploit, fighting over what little funds remain. CoW Swap is yet to make an official statement on the incident.

The incident marks yet another incident in the DeFi space, which is the prime target for attackers. The DeFi market saw billions stolen in 2022, and 2023 has already seen several incidents.

What Is CoW Swap?

CoW Swap is a fairly new DEX that uses “Coincidence of Wants” as a part of its method of matching and executing orders. It combines both on-chain and off-chain transactions to execute orders.

The platform made headlines last year when it launched the airdrop for the COW token. The associated Gnosis chain and its token also benefited from this, with the GNO token rallying by over 50% after the announcement.

More recently, CoW Swap launched “Surplus-Capturing” Limit Orders. This allows traders to set prices at which they can buy or sell assets.

Gnosis Has Evolved Over the Years

The Gnosis network, which first launched in 2015, has also seen several updates. Gnosis Safe launched SafeDAO and Safe Token in September 2022. The mission is to make ownership in web3 more accessible, collaborative, and secure. Sage was a rebranding of Gnosis Safe.

Gnosis also experienced its own merge that saw it transition to proof-of-stake. It currently has over 100,000 validators as part of its network.

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Rahul Nambiampurath
Rahul Nambiampurath's cryptocurrency journey first began in 2014 when he stumbled upon Satoshi's Bitcoin whitepaper. With a bachelor's degree in Commerce and an MBA in Finance from Sikkim Manipal University, he was among the few that first recognized the sheer untapped potential of decentralized technologies. Since then, he has helped DeFi platforms like Balancer and Sidus Heroes — a web3 metaverse — as well as CEXs like Bitso (Mexico's biggest) and Overbit to reach new heights with his...