OpenSea Investigating ‘Exploit Rumors’ as Users Complain of Missing NFTs

Emails purporting to be from the NFT marketplace about a planned smart contract migration may have been a phishing attack.

AccessTimeIconFeb 20, 2022 at 3:32 a.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 5:55 p.m. UTC

In the wake of a series of viral tweets from panicked non-fungible token (NFT) traders, leading marketplace OpenSea says it’s investigating “rumors of an exploit” regarding smart contracts connected to its platform – a vulnerability that may have cost traders valuable tokens.

  • “We are actively investigating rumors of an exploit associated with OpenSea related smart contracts,” OpenSea posted to Twitter Saturday night U.S. hours. “This appears to be a phishing attack originating outside of OpenSea's website. Do not click links outside of”
  • Around 10:50 p.m. ET, OpenSea CEO Devin Finzer followed up in a tweet that “32 users thus far have signed a malicious payload from an attacker, and some of their NFTs were stolen.” He added that the company is “not aware of any recent phishing emails that have been sent to users,” and suggested a fraudulent website may be to blame.
  • OpenSea had planned to revise its smart contract (the code governing its trading platform, essentially) by releasing a brand-new contract on Friday. The upgraded contract was intended to ensure old, inactive listings on the platform would eventually expire.
  • On Twitter, traders shared what they’d initially thought were official OpenSea emails about the migration process from contract A to contract B.
  • PeckShield, a blockchain security company that audits smart contracts, stated that the rumored exploit was “most likely phishing” – a malicious contract hidden in a disguised link. The company cited that same mass email about the migration process as one of the possible sources of the link.
  • The apparent attacker’s address (which the blockchain explorer website Etherscan has already slapped with a “phish/hack” warning badge) holds about $1.7 million worth of ether (ETH), as well as three tokens from the Bored Ape Yacht Club, two Cool Cats, one Doodle and one Azuki.

Update (Feb. 20, 04:42 UTC): Adds public statement from OpenSea CEO.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

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.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Will Gottsegen was CoinDesk's media and culture reporter.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.

Read more about