Hacker Moves $47.7 Million in Ethereum to Tornado Cash After Orbit Chain Breach

  • The hacker behind the $82 million Orbit Chain breach has reappeared after five months, moving a significant sum to Tornado Cash.
  • The latest estimates from Arkham Intelligence suggest that the total amount stolen may be closer to $100 million.
  • Blockchain analysis highlighted that most of the transferred funds were moved in batches of 100 ETH.

Crypto hacker resumes activities: $47.7 million moved to Tornado Cash after five months.

What Motivated the Hacker’s Silence?

Initially, the cyber-attack on Orbit Chain was reported to have caused $82 million in losses. However, newer assessments by Arkham Intelligence indicate that the actual figure might be closer to $100 million. The hacker, who broke their silence on June 8th, transferred 12,932 Ethereum (worth $47.7 million) to Tornado Cash. The funds were moved to a fresh address before being sent to the privacy mixer in seven transactions.

Arkham was among the first to detect these transfers. According to Etherscan, the $47.7 million in Ethereum was moved mostly in 100 ETH batches. It’s noteworthy that the hacker chose not to transfer the remaining $20 million in DAI or other assets from the breach. As of now, the hacker’s wallets contain approximately $71.2 million, including $51.1 million in Ethereum and smaller sums in Wrapped Bitcoin (wBTC), Wrapped Ethereum (wETH), Orbit Chain (ORC), and USD Coin (USDC).

Why Did Orbit Chain Offer a Reward?

The breach occurred on December 31st, 2023, just as the year was ending. The next day, Orbit Chain confirmed the attack and announced it was working with international law enforcement agencies. On January 11th, Orbit Chain revealed via its X (formerly Twitter) account that it was offering a reward of up to $8 million for information leading to the attacker’s identification or the recovery of the stolen assets.

Orbit Chain uses the Inter-Blockchain Communication Protocol to enable data and value transfers across the Cosmos ecosystem. According to DefiLlama, the total value locked (TVL) on the network has significantly declined to approximately $37 million from $149.25 million right before the December 31st attack. The TVL had reached a peak of $313 million in August 2022.

Key Insights from the Incident

  • After remaining inactive for five months, the hacker moved a significant amount of the stolen funds.
  • The hacker transferred only Ethereum to Tornado Cash, leaving other stolen assets untouched.
  • Orbit Chain’s total value locked (TVL) has suffered a significant drop since the attack.
  • A substantial reward is being offered for information leading to the hacker’s identification or the recovery of stolen assets.

Conclusion

Hackers managed to steal $542.7 million worth of cryptocurrency in the first quarter of 2024, a 42% rise compared to the same period in 2023. Interestingly, while overall cyber-attacks have increased, breaches targeting smart contracts have decreased dramatically, from $2.6 billion in 2022 to $179 million in 2023, marking a 92% drop. This incident underscores persistent security vulnerabilities in the crypto space and the importance of implementing stronger protective measures to shield digital assets.

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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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