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Bitcoin:
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BTC Dominance:
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Market Cap:
$2.44 T

Orbit Chain Exploiter Moves $47.7 Million to Tornado Cash After Five Months of Silence

Orbit Chain

After five months of “silence,” the exploiter responsible for the $82 million Orbit Chain hack on New Year’s Eve shifted $47.7 million to Tornado Cash, a cryptocurrency privacy mixer.

Details of the Recent Transactions

Blockchain analytics company Arkham Intelligence reports that seven transactions on June 8 transferred 12,932 Ether (ETH) totaling $47.7 million to a new address, which then sent the funds to cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash. Despite widespread claims that the exploit cost $82 million in losses, recent posts by Arkham suggest that the actual cost was likely closer to $100 million.

“They haven’t said anything since they took over $100 million in ETH and DAI from Orbit Chain five months ago,” stated Arkham, one of the first companies to notice the transfer, in a June 8 X post. According to Etherscan data, the majority of the $47.7 million in Ether transferred via Tornado Cash came in batches of 100 ETH. The hacker did not remove the $20 million in Dai (DAI) or any other currencies from the cross-chain bridge.

Impact of the Hack on Orbit and Community Response

The hack occurred on December 31, 2023, at approximately 8:52 p.m. UTC, in the last hours of 2023. The next day, Orbit Chain acknowledged the exploit and declared that it was “actively engaging” with foreign law authorities. On January 11, Orbit Chain’s X account stated, “Those who provide decisive intelligence that leads to identifying the attacker or recovering stolen assets will receive the bounty.” The company announced a maximum reward of $8 million USD for any information leading to the recovery of the stolen assets.

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Utilizing the Inter-Blockchain Communication Protocol, Orbit Chain facilitates value and data transmission across the Cosmos ecosystem. According to DefiLlama, the total value locked in the chain is close to $37 million, a significant drop from the $149.25 million in value locked just hours before the Dec. 31 attack. The total value locked peaked at $313 million in August 2022.

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In the first quarter of 2024, hackers took $542.7 million in cryptocurrency—a 42% rise over the same period in 2023. It’s interesting to note that from an astounding $2.6 billion in 2022 to a mere $179 million in 2023, smart contract hacks dropped 92%.

The recent activity by the hacker and the ongoing efforts by Orbit Chain highlight the persistent challenges in securing decentralized finance platforms and the crucial role of vigilant monitoring and swift response in mitigating the impact of such attacks.

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