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The gaming-focused Ronin Network reported a loss of more than $625 million in USDC and ether on Tuesday (ETH).
The exploit targeted Ronin Network validator nodes for Sky Mavis, the developers of the popular Axie Infinity game, and the Axie DAO, according to a blog post published by the Ronin Network's official Substack.
According to Etherscan, an attacker "used hacked private keys to generate fraudulent withdrawals" from the Ronin bridge over two transactions.
Despite the fact that the Ronin sidechain has nine validators that require five signatures for withdrawals, the blog post adds that “the attacker discovered a backdoor through our gas-free RPC node, which they utilized to steal the signature for the Axie DAO validator.”
The losses were estimated to be 173,600 ether and 25.5 million USDC, which is today worth over $625 million, according to the blog post.
In August 2021, a hacker made off with $611 million thanks to an exploit of the Poly Network cross-chain decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol. The funds were refunded in large amounts.
The Ethereum address used by the Ronin attacker is a new address that received ETH from the Binance exchange one week ago. According to Etherscan statistics, the attack happened last Wednesday.
Although 6,250 ETH has been transferred to other locations, the majority of the cash remain in the attacker’s address.
The Ronin Bridge and the Katana automated market maker (AMM) have both been paused while investigations are ongoing.
“We are working directly with various government agencies to ensure the criminals get brought to justice,” the blog notes.
The price of RON, the native token of the Ronin network, is down 27% on the news, according to CoinGecko.