BadgerDAO Reveals Details of How It Was Hacked for $120M

The DeFi platform said an application platform that runs on its cloud network was the vector for the attack.

Dec 10, 2021 at 11:25 p.m. UTC
Updated Dec 12, 2021 at 4:39 p.m. UTC

In a blog post this week, decentralized finance platform BadgerDAO provided details of how it was exploited for $120 million earlier this month.

  • BadgerDAO said a phishing incident that occurred on Dec. 2 was caused by “a maliciously injected snippet” from Cloudflare, an application platform that runs on Badger’s cloud network.
  • The hacker used a compromised API key that was created without the knowledge or authorization of Badger engineers to periodically inject the malicious code that affected a subset of its customers.
  • The hacker ultimately stole $130 million in funds, but approximately $9 million of that was recoverable since those funds were transferred by the hacker but not yet withdrawn from Badger’s vaults.
  • Badger has since patched the Cloudflare exploit, updated Cloudfare’s account password and deleted or freshened API keys where possible.
  • Badger hired cybersecurity firm Mandiant and blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis to investigate the exploit, and is working with both companies, as well as authorities in the U.S. and Canada, to recover any funds possible.


The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Nelson Wang is CoinDesk's news editor for the East Coast. He holds BTC and ETH above CoinDesk's disclosure threshold of $1,000.