Applications and Use Cases

Wormhole Collects $324 Million Back From Hackers

February 04, 2022

Cybercrime is on the rise these days. With more people than ever before utilizing digital mediums to work and interact, cybercriminals have wasted no time to exploit organizations and individuals with viruses, ransomware, and social engineering. Despite many successful campaigns over the last two years, one company was able to resist being compromised, and managed to recover a significant amount of lost funds.

According to a recent CNET report, blockchain bridge platform provider Wormhole recently announced it was able to recover $324 million in stolen crypto assets. Earlier this week, the company revealed hackers exploited the Wormhole network, and managed to steal 120,000 wETH (wrapped ethereum). The company quickly took to social media to inform users the situation was being addressed. Elliptic, a blockchain analysis firm, claims this was the fourth largest crypto theft ever recorded.

“The wormhole network was exploited for 120k wETH. ETH will be added over the next hours to ensure wETH is backed 1:1. More details to come shortly. We are working to get the network back up quickly. Thanks for your patience.”-from the official Wormhole Twitter account.

As of 2/4/22, Wormhole representatives claim all stolen funds have been recovered, the exploit is now patched, and revealed an incident report on the matter would be released soon. Interestingly, Cetrus One (Wormhole’s developer) offered the hacker $10 million to reveal the exploit and return the stolen funds, which may be how the situation was resolved so quickly.

Although this situation managed to resolve without a massive loss to customers, it’s yet another reminder of the rising threats in the digital landscape, as well as the need for advanced cybersecurity measures among blockchain/crypto networks. If the cryptocurrency and blockchain companies truly want to make decentralized finance a mainstream activity, industry leaders need to become creative in their approach to security. Additionally, Offering hackers rewards for their crimes may encourage more online crime, so this strategy could backfire in the long run if they have more funds and data to leverage.

Edited by Luke Bellos

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