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Axie Infinity’s Ronin Network Hacked for $625M

Tyler Irvin

Summary: The gaming-focused Ronin Network announced Tuesday, via blog post, they were hacked for $625 million in crypto consisting of 173,600 Ethereum and 25.5 million in USDC, making it one of the largest, if not the largest crypto hacks to date.    “We are working with law enforcement officials, forensic cryptographers, and our investors to make sure ...

The gaming-focused Ronin Network announced Tuesday, via blog post, they were hacked for $625 million in crypto consisting of 173,600 Ethereum and 25.5 million in USDC, making it one of the largest, if not the largest crypto hacks to date.  

 “We are working with law enforcement officials, forensic cryptographers, and our investors to make sure all funds are recovered or reimbursed,” the blog post said. “All of the AXS, RON, and SLP on Ronin are safe right now.”

Ronin was made aware of this attack on Tuesday morning after a user reported he was unable to withdraw $5k Ethereum from the bridge. Upon further investigation it was determined that on March 23, Sky Mavis’s Ronin validator nodes and Axie DAO validator nodes were compromised for that staggering $625 million figure. 

As it stands the Ronin sidechain has nine validators, of which five must sign for withdrawals: a security measure to prevent this catastrophe. However, “the attacker found a backdoor through our gas-free RPC node, which they abused to get the signature for the Axie DAO validator.” 

 The attacker performed two separate transactions using “hacked private keys in order to forge fake withdrawal.” 

 The Ronin hacker’s Ethereum address is a new address that transferred ETH in from Binance a week ago, with the majority of the funds remaining in the attacker’s address. As a result the Ronin Bridge and Katana automated market maker (AMM) have both been paused while investigations occur. 

This is the second crypto exploit valued at over $600 million, the first coming in August 2021, where the hacker made off with an initial $611 million from the cross-chain DeFi protocol Poly Network. 

Author: Tyler Irvin

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