Avalanche-Based Zabu Finance Sees $3.2M Hack

The attacker used Zabu’s “Transfer Tax” mechanism to mint tokens, sending their value to zero.

Sep 13, 2021 at 12:32 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 1:37 p.m. UTC

Zabu Finance, an Avalanche-based decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol, has been exploited for $3.2 million.

  • The protocol tweeted Saturday that its Spore Pool was possibly under an exploit and confirmed the attack on Sunday.
  • The attacker used Zabu’s “Transfer Tax” mechanism to mint tokens, causing their value to slide to zero from about $0.0047.
  • Having removed 4.5 billion ZABU tokens, the attacker then dumped them on the Trader Joe’s and Avalanche Pangolin exchanges on the Avalanche network.
  • Zabu plans to take a snapshot of the situation immediately before the exploit to protect both users who invested before the hack and those who bought in afterwards.
  • The exploit totaling an estimated $3.2 million is probably the “first big exploit” on the Avalanche blockchain, according to DeFi analytics provider DeFiprime.


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Jamie Crawley is a CoinDesk news reporter based in London.