Axie Infinity is arguably the biggest success story in the NFT world. The game started in 2018 as a simple Pokemon-style creature collecting game and took a total of over $4 billion in sales and made up more than 1,8 million active users in August last year. The game is particularly popular in the Philippines where its play-to-play model even allows people to work full-time. This concept hasn’t been introduced yet in popular MMOs.
Yet it seems that success has brought out some unwanted attention. Today one of the blockchains that hold transactions for Axie Infinity reported a breach of security that resulted in the loss of about 600 million dollars in cryptocurrency.
Seeing that magic is spreading into the NFTs, but it looks very powerful.
“We discovered on March 23rd that the Ethereum and 2,5 million USDC re-inhibited were on account of the failure to take charge of the Ronin bridge for two transactions,” said Ronin, one of the two blockchains that power Axie Infinity’s NFT-based economy. “Attentate stole private keys to forge false withdrawals.”
Because these withdrawals were made on the blockchain, you can still see the crypto wallet where the funds were allegedly drained. Ronin is collaborating with the police to recoup the stolen money.
What funny part is that this entire hack wouldn’t be possible without Axie Infinity’s massive success. The developer, Sky Mavis, found a problem last year, when multiple transactions were simply impossible to handle. To speed up transactions, Sky Mavis asked Ronin if it could allow transactions on its own. Ronin agreed to bring this privilege temporarily, and thought that the administration had retracted said privileges in December 2021, but it turns out that one of Ronin’s verification nodes still recognized that special allowance.
The alleged hacker could use this node to get access to a majority of Ronin’s validators, essentially letting them do anything they want by the crypto network. But what they wanted was obviously money.
In the crypto market, this is hardly the biggest heist, but by the way people get some better at checking down the crypto thieves. One of the biggest heists in crypto history has recently been deceived after the US Department of Justice reported that two alleged cybercriminals recovered billions of dollars in Bitcoins.
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