Harmony Hackers Begin Laundering Ethereum Stolen From Horizon Bridge

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Harmony Hackers Begin Laundering Ethereum Stolen From Horizon Bridge

Harmony Hackers Begin Laundering Ethereum Stolen From Horizon Bridge
Hackers. Image: Shutterstock
Source: Decrypt
1656412713 28 Jun / 10:38

According to PeckShield, the hackers who stole $100 million in cryptocurrencies from Harmony Protocol's Horizon bridge have begun laundering the proceeds.

The hackers sent three transactions from the address used in the June 23 hack totaling approximately 30K ETH (roughly $36 million) to the mixing service Tornado Cash, while $64 million remained in the hacker's Ethereum wallet, according to a blockchain analysis conducted by a blockchain security company.

Harmony is a 2019-launched layer-1 proof-of-stake blockchain. Its Horizon bridge enables users to transfer coins across blockchains such as the Harmony network and Ethereum, Binance Chain, and Bitcoin.

Crypto mixing services enable users to obscure the origins of their cryptocurrencies by collecting large quantities of coins into a single pool and “mixing” them, a technique widely employed to launder illicitly acquired tokens.

Wrapped Ethereum (WETH), AAVE, SUSHI, DAI, Tether (USDT), and USD Coin (USDC) totaling $100 million were stolen and exchanged for Ethereum in a hack on Thursday. Despite initial reports of an attack on the Harmony protocol, the business has now said it has “discovered no proof in any breaches of our smart contract codes or vulnerabilities on the Horizon platform.”

The attack on the Harmony Protocol is the latest in a series of multimillion-dollar crimes against DeFi protocols. In March, hackers with ties to North Korea stole $622 million from the Ethereum sidechain Ronin of Axie Infinity.

Saturday, Harmony Protocol announced a $1 million reward for the recovery of the bridge monies and stated on Twitter that it would not pursue criminal prosecution if the cash were returned. With today’s moves, it looks like the offer has been rejected.

Harmony informed its users that the loss did not affect its BTC bridge and that the firm worked with national authorities and forensic specialists to find the perpetrator and recover the monies. Moreover, Harmony enhanced its security procedures.

“We have migrated the Ethereum side of the Horizon bridge to a 4-of-5 multisig since the incident,” tweeted the founder of Harmony, meaning that at least four of five private keys would be required to sign and authorize transactions. “We will continue taking steps to further harden our operations and infrastructure security.”

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