DeFi Protocol Ankr Says Ex-Employee Caused $5M Exploit

The company is working with law enforcement to prosecute the attacker.

AccessTimeIconDec 21, 2022 at 3:56 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 4:04 a.m. UTC

A former employee of decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol Ankr maliciously caused a $5 million exploit earlier this month, according to a statement published on Ankr's website.

The ex-employee inserted a malicious code package to conduct a supply chain attack, which allowed a user to mint 6 quadrillion aBNBc tokens, the company said. The attacker then converted those minted tokens for Binance Coin (BNB) before sending the ill-gotten gains to crypto mixer Tornado Cash. They eventually managed to swap the BNB tokens for 5 million USDC.

"We are in the process of working with law enforcement to prosecute the former team member and bring them to justice," Ankr said in the statement.

Following the exploit, Ankr reimbursed impacted aBNBc or aBNBb token holders by airdropping ankrBNB and also airdropped BNB to all affected DeFi liquidity providers.


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

Oliver Knight is a CoinDesk reporter based between London and Lisbon. He does not own any crypto.

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