Breaking Ronin Network Hack: Axie Infinity Sidechain Swindled For Over $620m

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In Brief
  • Ronin Network, a sidechain for crypto game Axie Infinity, has been hacked for over $620 million in ETH and USDC.

  • The attacker "used hacked private keys to forge fake withdrawals" from the Ronin bridge.

  • Ronin says it is working with law enforcement to recover the lost funds.

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Ronin Network hack: Ronin Network, the Ethereum-based sidechain for popular crypto game Axie Infinity, has been hacked for over $620 million in ETH and USDC.

According to an official statement on Tuesday, the attacker “used hacked private keys to forge fake withdrawals” from the Ronin bridge contract in two transactions.

The exploit, which occurred on March 23, was only discovered a week later, when one user failed to withdraw 5,000 ether.

This could be the biggest hack in decentralized finance (DeFi) history, eclipsing Poly Network’s $611 million theft last year.

RON, the native token of the Ronin Network, slumped 20% to $1.84 after the news, according to CoinGecko.

Per the blog post, the Ronin sidechain consists of nine validator nodes and five out of the nine validator signatures are needed to process a deposit or withdrawal. This is done to prevent hacks of this nature.

But “the attacker managed to get control over Sky Mavis’s four Ronin validators and a third-party validator run by Axie DAO.”

Ronin Network hack

Ronin Network hack: The spoils

In total, the hacker made off with 173,600 ETH and 25.5 million USDC, valued at more than $620 million at the time of writing.

Around 6,250 ether, or $21 million, has since been moved out of the attacker’s wallet address, including several ETH transferred to FTX Exchange, according to Etherscan.

The Ronin Bridge and Katana automated market marker (AMM) have both been halted to pave way for investigations.

“We are working with law enforcement officials, forensic cryptographers, and our investors to make sure that all funds are recovered or reimbursed,”said Sky Mavis, the creator of Axie Infinity.

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Jeffrey Gogo is a Zimbabwean financial journalist with more than 18 years of experience covering local and global financial markets; economic and company news. A climate change enthusiast, Gogo first encountered bitcoin in 2014 and began covering crypto markets in 2017.

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