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Thursday, Dec 01, 2022

CoinDesk exec says latest crypto heist 'one of the biggest' in history

CoinDesk exec says latest crypto heist 'one of the biggest' in history

Pete Pachal, CoinDesk's chief of staff for the content team, weighed in on "one of the biggest hacks in crypto history" on Wednesday, arguing that the gaming-focused Ronin Network's announcement of a security breach shows that "things start to get a little dicey" when moving further away from core cryptocurrency products.

Pachal provided the insight on "Mornings with Maria" one day after Ronin Network announced a loss of over $625 million in USDC and ether, CoinDesk reported, noting that the hack impacted Ronin Network validator nodes for the publishers of the popular Axie Infinity game, Sky Mavis, and the Axie DAO.

"The attacker used hacked private keys in order to forge fake withdrawals," a Ronin Network blog post published on Tuesday noted, adding that while the network has safety tools in place to protect against hacks like this, "the attacker found a backdoor."

Pachal argued that what the hack shows is that "not all blockchains are created equal."

"This has more to do with the hack on the Axie Infinity network as opposed to a hack on primary blockchain like Bitcoin or Ether," he went on to note.

The Ronin Network blog post noted that the network is "working with law enforcement officials, forensic cryptographers, and our investors to make sure all funds are recovered or reimbursed."

Pachal noted that federal authorities have been cracking down on security breaches like this.

"Recently we’ve seen the Feds put big charges on the Bitfinex [cryptocurrency exchange] hack from 2016, which was another big crypto hack," he noted

In February, the Department of Justice announced, two people were arrested for an alleged conspiracy to launder cryptocurrency that was stolen during the 2016 hack of Bitfinex, valued at about $4.5 billion. THE DOJ noted that as of February, law enforcement seized more than $3.6 billion in cryptocurrency linked to that hack.

Pachal also pointed out that a lot of stolen funds "were reversed" from the hack of the Poly Network, a decentralized finance platform that helps link blockchains together,

He noted that the Poly Network hack is the "biggest" crypto heist in history.

Poly Network announced in August that almost all of the $610 million stolen had been returned by the unknown person or persons behind the attack, Reuters reported at the time.

"A lot of people assume that you can get away with this because it’s crypto, but actually the Feds and analysis companies are getting really good about tracing these hacks and seeing that the people who perpetrate them are brought to justice," Pachal said. "It’s getting better and better all the time."


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