The scalper behind the Orbit Chain hack made $82 million this weekend

The exploiter behind the $82 million Orbit Chain hack on New Year’s Eve transferred $47.7 million to cryptocurrency privacy mixer Tornado Cash after five months of “silence.”

A total of 12,932 ether (ETH) – worth $47.7 million – were transferred on June 8 in seven transactions to a new address, sending funds to cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash, according to blockchain analysis company Arkham Intelligence.

Transfers made by the Orbit Chain hacker on June 8. Source: Arkham Intelligence

It was widely reported that the exploit caused $82 million in losses, but recent Arkham publications suggest that figure was closer to $100 million.

“They stole over $100 million in ETH and DAI from Orbit Chain 5 months ago, and have been silent ever since,” Arkham – one of the first companies to discover the transfer – said in an article on 8 June.

Data from Etherscan shows that the $47.7 million worth of ether sent via Tornado Cash was primarily in batches of 100 ETH.

The hacker did not transfer the stolen 20 million Dai Dollars (DAI) or any other coins mined from the bridge across the chain.

Their balance now stands at $71.2 million, including $51.1 million in Ethereum and small amounts of Wrapped Bitcoin (wBTC), Wrapped Ethereum (wETH), Orbit Chain (ORC), and of USD Coin (USDC).

Source: Arkham Intelligence

The hack occurred in the final hours of 2023, around 8:52 p.m. UTC, December 31, 2023.

Orbit Chain confirmed the exploit the following day and said it was “actively engaging” with international law enforcement agencies.

“Those who provide critical intelligence leading to the identification of the attacker or recovery of stolen assets will receive a reward,” Orbit Chain said.

“As a maximum reward, we are offering 8 million US dollars.”

about: $20 million exploit cripples Sonne Finance, hacker in no mood to negotiate

Orbit Chain applies the Inter-Blockchain communication protocol to transfer data and value across the Cosmos ecosystem.

According to DefiLlama, the total value of the channel is around $37 million.

However, this figure fell by more than 75% from the $149.25 value that was locked in the protocol hours before the December 31 hack.

It peaked at $313 million in August 2022.

Total value locked on Orbit Bridge since August 2022. Source: DeFiLlama

Hackers stole $542.7 million in cryptocurrencies in the first quarter of 2024, an increase of 42% compared to the same period in 2023.

Interestingly, smart contract hacks fell 92% to $179 million in 2023 from $2.6 billion in 2022.

review: DeFi’s Billion-Dollar Secret: The Insiders Responsible for the Hacks

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