Decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol Ankr gets hit by multi-million dollar hack.
Ankr, a BNB Chain-based decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol established in 2017, has been exploited.
On December 2nd, the team behind Ankr used Twitter to confirm the news stating that its aBNBc token was exploited and the company is working with crypto exchanges to halt trading.
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However, the company reassured its users that “all underlying assets on Ankr Staking are safe at this time, and all infrastructure services are unaffected.”
The news was first reported by on-chain security analyst PeckShield, stating that Ankr Reward Bearing Staked BNB (aBNBc) token fell by -50%, adding that after a few minutes, it sank by -100%.
Based on some reports, the hacker minted around 20 trillion aBNBc. Another on-chain analysis firm Lookonchain informed Twitter users that after minting aBNBc, the hacker used Uniswap, Tornado Cash, and other bridges to swap and mix funds to gain approximately $5 million worth of USD Coin.
Another blockchain security firm Beosin joined the investigation and revealed that the hacker may have used vulnerabilities in smart contract code and compromised private keys. Beosin assumed that the hacker was able to use Ankr vulnerabilities due to technical upgrades installed only 12 hours before the exploit. Beosin spokesperson stated:
It is possible that the deployer’s private key was exposed in this upgrade, leading to an attacker using deployer privileges to modify the contract.
Both Binance and BNB Chain used Twitter to address the exploit. In its tweet, Binance highlighted that it is investigating the matter hand in hand with BNB Chain and Ankr, adding that user funds in Binance are safe. On the other hand, BNB Chain stated that the exploiter was blacklisted.
It is worth noting that, in the last 24 hours, the price of aBNBc fell by 99.51% and now retails for $1.52. Before the exploit, aBNBc was worth around $311.