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Hacker Who Stole Millions Worth of NFTs Demands a Ransom

2 mins
Updated by Bary Rahma
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In Brief

  • NFT Trader, a peer-to-peer trading platform, suffered a hack, resulting in the theft of millions of dollars in high-value NFTs.
  • The hacker exploited old smart contracts and even interacted publicly on the blockchain, offering to return stolen NFTs.
  • Despite the security breach, NFT market sales surged, with Bitcoin-based NFTs overtaking Ethereum in trading volume.
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In a brazen cyber heist, the peer-to-peer trading platform NFT Trader fell victim to a sophisticated hack. It resulted in the theft of millions of dollars worth of high-value Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs).

Among the stolen digital assets were rare tokens from prominent collections like Bored Ape and Mutant Ape Yacht Club, World of Women NFTs, VeeFriends, and Art Blocks.

Hacker Steals Expensive NFTs

NFT Trader confirmed the attack, revealing that “old smart contracts” were the hackers’ entry point. The company advised users to revoke any permissions previously granted to these smart contracts.

Reportedly, the attacks ceased after NFT Trader updated its contracts to mend a reentrancy vulnerability.

“There was a malicious code execution from a third party to our two older smart contracts. However, we’ve implemented all necessary measures to prevent any such incidents in the future. It’s highly advisable to use revoke(.)cash or similar tools after completing a deal on any platform for added security and use cold wallet as intended, without the interaction (or signature) with any smart contract.,” NFT Trader said.

In a bold move, the main attacker left a public message on the blockchain. He blamed another user for the NFT exploit and claimed the attack was to “pick up leftover trash.” The hacker even proposed returning the tokens for a ransom – 3 ETH per Bored Ape and 0.6 ETH per Mutant Ape.

Read more: Identifying & Exploring Risk on DeFi Lending Protocols

This incident saw a series of perplexing actions from the attacker, including returning one Bored Ape with an additional 31 ETH to a user and returning certain staked Bored Apes to their owners, albeit keeping the ApeCoin rewards.

“I’m a good person, the value of these NFTs is enough for a person to live a free life, but I don’t care about that… My technical skills are limited, I can’t get all the affected NFTs at once, and it’s costing me a lot of energy and time, so.. If you want [your NFTs] back, then you need to pay me a bounty, which is what I deserve,” the hacker said.

NFTs Trading Volume Soar

In the backdrop of this security breach, the NFT market experienced a surge in activity. Sales soared by 52.81% over the past week, amassing $503.35 million.

NFTs on the Bitcoin network emerged as a dominant force, raking in $276.79 million and eclipsing Ethereum’s $99.67 million.

“The burgeoning interest and investment in NFTs could be partly attributed to the general sentiment of a bull market in the crypto sphere. Typically, in such market conditions, capital tends to flow towards NFTs,” DappRadar said in a recent report.

Read more: Staking Ethereum vs. Buying NFTs: Which Yields Greater Returns?

NFTs Trading Volume. Source: Dune

The week’s most notable sales included Ethereum’s Fidenza #985, fetching $277K, and a Bitcoin-based NFT of a Van Gogh painting, which sold for $263K.

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Bary Rahma
Bary Rahman, a talented journalist, graduated from New York University with a degree in Journalism. Skilled in SEO, she has worked with CNN, showcasing her investigative skills and storytelling abilities. In addition to her journalistic accomplishments, Bary has contributed her expertise as a content writer for Binance, crafting insightful articles on the dynamic crypto industry. Her unique fusion of journalism and SEO makes her a versatile and highly respected figure in the industry.