As the world bid farewell to 2023, hackers made a grand entrance into the new year by executing a massive $81.7 million exploit on Orbit Chain’s bridging service, Orbit Bridge. The exploit whose details are yet to be unfolded, hit just three hours before the stroke of midnight and has sent shockwaves through the crypto community.
On December 31st, a pseudonymous Twitter user raised the alarm about a potential exploit pointing to significant outflows from the Orbit Chain Bridge protocol. Blockchain sleuth Officer CIA and cybersecurity firm Cyvers echoed this concern and confirmed the hack.
Arkham Intelligence, a blockchain analytics platform, reported that the hackers successfully siphoned off a staggering $81.68 million in ill-gotten gains.
Compensation measures introduced
Orbit Bridge due to the recent exploit, is issuing a compensation distribution to all users. The team has recommended all users review approvals immediately on their dashboards. All Orbit users are said to be eligible for compensation.
Attacker gets funded by Tornado Cash
According to Officer CIA, it is likely that the attacker gained 7 out of 10 multi-sig signers. The exploiter was initially funded with 10 $ETH from TornadoCash, a famous currency mixing service among the hackers and transferred them through the intermediary address.
The orchestrated attack involved five separate transactions with the hackers transferring $30 million in Tether (USDT), $10 million in USD Coin (USDC), $21.7 million in Ether (ETH), $9.8 million in Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) and $10 million worth of the algorithmic stablecoin DAI to new wallets.
Orbit Chain’s protocol is intricately connected to the Klaytn network (KLAY), a modular layer-1 blockchain. Klaytn’s block explorer data reveals that eight of the most valuable assets on the Klaytn network, judging by total market capitalization, are wrapped assets on the Orbit Bridge.
The precise details of the exploit yet remain shrouded in mystery leaving the crypto community on edge.
Launched in South Korea in 2018, Orbit Chain operates as a multi-asset blockchain specializing in cross-chain transfers among decentralized networks. Its primary function is facilitating the seamless transfer of assets between EVM-compatible networks and Klaytn.
As the investigation into the exploit unfolds, the crypto industry grapples with yet another security breach, underscoring the ongoing challenges and vulnerabilities in the decentralised landscape. As of the time of writing, the Orbit exchange team has reached out to the hacker for negotiations and we await further interactions between the team and the hacker.
This $82 Million exploit marks a concerning start to the year raising questions about the security measures within cross-chain protocols and the robustness of networks designed for seamless asset transfers between decentralized platforms and interoperability.