Cryptocurrency News

Axie Infinity’s Sidechain Ronin Network Hacked for $615M Worth of ETH and USDC

By March 30, 2022 No Comments

Key takeaways:

  • The Ronin bridge that connects different blockchains was exploited for more than $600 million worth of crypto
  • The Ronin Network attacker has made away with 173,600 ETH and 25.5M USDC
  • The attack on the Ronin bridge is the largest DeFi hack in history in terms of the total amount of crypto funds stolen

Ronin Network suffers the largest DeFi attack to date

Ronin Network, the Ethereum-linked sidechain of the popular crypto game Axie Infinity has been exploited for $625 million worth of Ethereum and USD Coin. The team wrote in a statement that the attacker gained access to five of the nine Ronin chain’s validator nodes (4 Sky Mavis validators and 1 Axie DAO), which granted the attacker the ability to sign transactions and ultimately to make away with 173,600 ETH and 25.5M USDC.

The Ronin team took to Twitter to notify the community about the unfortunate situation.

The team added that they are working with law enforcement and forensic cryptographers to recover stolen funds and assured that the game’s native ecosystem assets AXS, RON, and SLP are safe.

The team first found out about the hack on Tuesday morning, after a user reported he was unable to withdraw 5,000 ETH using the Ronin bridge. It is somewhat curious that the funds were siphoned from the Ronin bridge on March 23rd and nobody noticed any irregularities until six days after.

As a response to the attack, the Ronin team wrote it will raise the validator threshold from 5 out of 9 to 8 out of 9 and will be adding new validator nodes to increase the network’s decentralization. In addition, Katana DEX and the Ronin bridge have been disabled until further notice. 

The Ronin bridge hack is the largest of its kind to date. Last year, Poly Network suffered a $612 million exploit, after an attacker identified a vulnerability between contract calls on the cross-chain protocol. The story was luckily resolved with a happy ending as the Poly Network attacker turned out to be a “white hat” hacker and ultimately returned all of the stolen funds.