The ongoing attacks on cross-chain bridges caused significant damage to the crypto community as well as Harmony , which was especially problematic in light of the economic downturn.
The Horizon bridge in Harmony is the most recent name to be added to the victim list of DeFi bridges that have been hacked.
On June 24, the incident took place early in the morning, but the official announcement from the company wasn’t made until after a half-day had passed.
Harmony Provides Transparency
According to details of transactions provided by Harmony, the hacker carried out more than 11 transactions and stole more than
- 13,100 ETH (worth $14.1 million)
- 592 WBTC ($12.4 million)
- 9.9 million USDT
- 41.2 million USDC
- 6 million DAI
- 5.5 million BUSD
- 5.6 million FRAX
- 84.6 million AAG ($1.3 million)
- 110,000 FXS ($607,000)
- 415,000 SUSHI ($518,000)
- numerous other ERC-20 tokens
Those ERC-20 tokens were later transferred to ETH and placed in the same wallet address. It is estimated that the total balance of this wallet is more than 85,867 ETH, worth over $98 million.
The lagging announcement allowed hackers to disperse most of the ERC-20 tokens, leaving only a large amount of ETH in the wallet.
According to Horizon, while the bridge to Ethereum was exploited, the bridge to Bitcoin is still safe.
Still, the team made the decision to suspend the Horizon system while they investigate the vulnerability, as well as notify exchanges to prevent hackers from laundering money.
“We have also notified exchanges and stopped the Horizon bridge to prevent further transactions. The team is all hands on deck as investigations continue. We will keep everyone up-to-date as we investigate this further and obtain more information.”
Following the disclosure of the hack, the price of Harmony’s ONE token fell slightly.
Massive Hacks Are Here
Since the beginning of 2022, the number of bridge protocol attacks has increased, inflicting billions of dollars in damage. Cyberattacks are a menace to organizations in the crypto world, and blockchain bridges are an obvious target.
These incidents raise serious concerns about the safety of cross-chain networks, as Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum’s father has already warned.
The ongoing-added list includes Qubit Finance’s bridge $80 million attack in January, the Wormhole bridge hack of $320 million in May, and, most notably, the March hack of Axie Infinity’s Ronin bridge, which drained $622 million in Ethereum and USDC.
These attackers’ targets were all bridges and they’ve never appear to fail.
The evolution of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency has resulted in a plethora of active blockchains, each with its own set of pros and cons. From this point forward, the requirement for connecting one chain to another has grown in order to receive many benefits from each chain.
However, whether in real life or in virtual space, any weakness or vulnerability in a bridge’s structure might lead to disaster.
The bridge is the location with the most entries and exits in the blockchain world. Bridges are an essential component of a multi-blockchain world and serve an incredibly vital infrastructure role at present time.
That is why bridge hacks are so common and tough to prevent. Cross-chain bridges have the potential to become one of the most vulnerable security gaps for hackers to exploit.
In most cases, it cannot be stopped, nor is there a technique to totally overcome the security fault in the digital world.
When cross-chain bridges were first proposed, Ethereum’s creator, Vitalik Buterin, voiced his doubts about their reliability and cautioned that they could make the network vulnerable to a 51 percent cross-chain attack.
On the other hand, spoofing cyberattacks on cross-chain bridges that exploit vulnerabilities in smart contract code have caused critics to question whether or not we should sacrifice the safety of our assets and our security.