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$48 Million Sent to Tornado Cash | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

The funds looted from the Orbit Chain heist on New Year’s Eve in December 2023 have remained dormant since the exploit. However, the hackers are back in the spotlight, moving millions of the stolen funds.

The hackers behind the $82 million exploitation recently moved $48 million through the notorious crypto mixer Tornado Cash.

Orbit Chain Hacker Makes a Move After Months of Silence

Months after a massive theft on a cross-chain bridge, Orbit Chain, the hackers have finally made a move. Reports from the on-chain analytics firm Arkham Intelligence revealed that hackers had transferred nearly $48 million of the stolen funds. 

According to the report, on June 8, the hackers moved 12,932 Ether (ETH), worth $47.7 million, in seven transactions to a new address. This new address sent the funds to Tornado Cash to avoid being detected.

Etherscan data revealed that the exploiters sent the Ether through Tornado Cash in groups of 100 ETH. Also, this crypto tracking firm believes the amount stolen might be over $100 million, but other accounts report it’s $82 million. 

Arkham Intelligence, one of the first companies to notice the transfer, said in an X post: “They stole over $100M in ETH and DAI from Orbit Chain five months ago and have been silent since.”

Surprisingly, the firm noted that the hacker transferred 8,671 Ether (ETH), valued at $32 million, to a new address in the past hour. According to the firm, these hackers are now depositing this ETH into Tornado Cash.

For context, Tornado Cash is a cryptocurrency privacy mixer. It is mostly used for money laundering, as it makes it hard to trace funds.

More Details on the Orbit Chain Hack

In the final hours of 2023, at around 8:52 pm UTC on December 31, before the New Year, Orbit Chain was hacked. The next day, Orbit Chain confirmed the breach, stating they worked closely with international law enforcement agencies to resolve the issue.

On January 11, Orbit Chain promised an $8 million bounty for anyone with information that would aid the attacker’s identification or the recovery of stolen assets. 

The company hopes this bounty will encourage individuals to provide valuable information.

The hack significantly impacted Orbit Chain. According to DefiLlama, the protocol has almost $37 million in total value locked (TVL), a 75% decline from the $149.25 million locked just a few hours before the hack on December 31. 

In August 2022, the highest amount locked on Orbit Chain was $313 million, but it has significantly decreased since.

However, Orbit Chain isn’t alone in this ordeal; many crypto and blockchain protocols have faced similar situations. For instance, Sonne Finance recently suffered a $20 million exploit, with the hacker showing no interest in negotiation. 

Data from DefiLlama, hackers have stolen a total of $8.21 billion in cryptocurrencies so far. The total value of hacked cryptocurrency on bridges has reached $2.83 billion.

On May 1, 2024, the total value hacked in the crypto industry was about $372.9 million. As of the first quarter of 2024, hackers had stolen up to $542.7 million, marking a 42% increase from the same period in 2023.

Despite this surge, smart contract hacks have significantly decreased, falling 92% to $179 million a year ago. The crypto community remains vigilant as efforts continue to improve security and recover lost assets.

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