Hacker Moves $32 Million in Stolen Ethereum (ETH) to Tornado Cash Following Orbit Bridge Exploit

  • Orbit Bridge, a decentralized cross-chain protocol, was breached in December, resulting in a significant loss of cryptocurrency assets.
  • The hacker is currently moving a portion of the stolen assets, specifically 8,671 Ethereum (ETH), to a new wallet address before converting them through Tornado Cash, known for facilitating anonymous transactions.
  • Despite efforts by the Orbit Chain team to negotiate with the hacker post-breach, no contact was established. The team has since offered a substantial bounty for any information about the hacker’s identity or the recovery of the stolen assets.

This article delves into the recent developments surrounding the Orbit Bridge hack, exploring the hacker’s latest moves and the broader implications for cross-chain platforms and crypto security.

The Hacker’s Movements: $32 Million in Ethereum on the Move

Recent activities indicate that the hacker responsible for the Orbit Bridge attack has started relocating a portion of the stolen funds. Specifically, 8,671 ETH, valued at $32 million, has been transferred to a new wallet. The assets are being funneled into Tornado Cash, a service that anonymizes digital transactions, complicating efforts to trace them.

The Impact on Orbit Bridge and Its Native Token

The December heist saw the hacker extracting over $100 million in various cryptocurrencies from Orbit Bridge. As of now, the hacker still holds significant amounts: $66 million worth of ETH and more than $20 million in stablecoins such as DAI and USDT. The hack has had a profound impact on Orbit Bridge, which functions as a critical linking service for Orbit Chain (ORC), a cross-chain platform that enhances scalability.

Efforts to Recover the Stolen Funds

In response to the breach, the Orbit Chain team issued an ultimatum to the hacker, urging them to engage in negotiations by January 11th. When no response was received, the team announced a reward of up to $8 million for information leading to the identification of the hacker or the recovery of the assets. Despite these efforts, the stolen funds remain elusive and the hacker’s identity undiscovered.

Tornado Cash: A Controversial Tool in the Spotlight

Tornado Cash, the service used by the hacker to launder the stolen Ethereum, is no stranger to controversy. In 2022, the U.S. government sanctioned Tornado Cash, citing national security concerns. One of its founders, Roman Storm, was arrested and charged with laundering around $1 billion in illegal proceeds, including hundreds of millions linked to the notorious North Korean cybercrime group, the Lazarus Group.

Consequences for the Crypto Community

The breach and the subsequent movements of the stolen funds via Tornado Cash have sparked debates within the crypto community about the security and vulnerability of cross-chain protocols. Orbit Chain’s native token, ORC, has also seen a significant drop, currently trading at $0.00669—more than a 90% reduction from its December price, as per CoinGecko data.

Conclusion

The Orbit Bridge hack underscores the ongoing challenges in securing decentralized platforms against increasingly sophisticated cyber threats. The hacker’s current activities highlight the need for improved security measures and more robust tracking mechanisms. Moving forward, the crypto community must prioritize these aspects to safeguard assets and maintain trust in cross-chain technologies.

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Gideon Wolf
Gideon Wolfhttps://en.coinotag.com/
GideonWolff is a 27-year-old technical analyst and journalist with extensive experience in the cryptocurrency industry. With a focus on technical analysis and news reporting, GideonWolff provides valuable insights on market trends and potential opportunities for both investors and those interested in the world of cryptocurrency.
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