'Blockchain City' CityDAO Falls Victim to $95K Hack via Discord

The attacker issued a fake "land drop" from the admin's compromised account, pocketing 29.67 ETH ($95,000) in the process.

Jan 14, 2022 at 2:42 p.m. UTC
Updated Jan 14, 2022 at 9:54 p.m. UTC

CityDAO, the experiment into decentralized land ownership, has fallen victim to a $95,000 hack by fraudsters on gaming instant messaging site Discord.

  • An attacker hacked one of the project's admin accounts on Discord, according to the group's Twitter account.
  • "EMERGENCY NOTICE. A CityDAO Discord admin account has been hacked. THERE IS NO LAND DROP. DO NOT CONNECT YOUR WALLET," CityDAO tweeted Monday.
  • CityDAO's founders purchased 40 acres of land in Wyoming in November with the intention of building a "blockchain city."
  • The project's aim is to build a city with decentralized governance, where "citizens" purchase land in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). CityDAO uses Discord to issue alerts known as "land drops" when there are opportunities to purchase said NFTs.
  • The attacker issued a fake land drop from the admin's compromised account, pocketing 29.67 ETH ($95,000) in the process.
  • The affected admin, "Lyons800", subsequently tweeted that the attack was "a ridiculous security breach from Discord."
  • This marks a second large hack via Discord in less than a month. On Dec. 21, Justin Kan's NFT platform Fractal suffered a breach in which someone hacked the project's account to issue a fraudulent link to users promoting a new NFT, making off with around $150,000.

DISCLOSURE

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.

Jamie Crawley is a CoinDesk news reporter based in London.