Axie Infinity’s Ronin Network Suffers $625M Exploit

It may be the largest exploit in DeFi history.

Mar 29, 2022 at 3:55 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 30, 2022 at 7:59 p.m. UTC

Andrew Thurman is a tech reporter at CoinDesk with a focus on DeFi.

The latest crypto hack may be the largest yet.

The gaming-focused Ronin network announced Tuesday a loss of over $625 million in USDC and ether (ETH).

According to a blog post published by the Ronin network’s official Substack, the exploit affected Ronin validator nodes for Sky Mavis, the publishers of the popular Axie Infinity game, and the Axie DAO.

An attacker “used hacked private keys in order to forge fake withdrawals” from the Ronin bridge across two transactions, as seen on Etherscan.

While the Ronin sidechain has nine validators requiring five signatures for withdrawals and is meant to protect against these types of attacks, the blog post notes that “the attacker found a backdoor through our gas-free RPC node, which they abused to get the signature for the Axie DAO validator.”

The blog post pegged the losses at 173,600 ether and 25.5 million in USDC, currently worth in excess of $625 million.

Back in August 2021, a hacker made off with $611 million in an exploit of cross-chain decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol Poly Network. The vast majority of the funds were returned.

The Ronin attacker’s Ethereum address is a fresh address that transferred ETH in from the Binance exchange one week ago. Etherscan records show that the attack took place last Wednesday.

The majority of the funds remain in the attacker’s address, though 6,250 ETH has been transferred to various other addresses.

The Ronin Bridge and the Katana automated market maker (AMM) have both been paused while investigations are ongoing.

“We are working directly with various government agencies to ensure the criminals get brought to justice,” the blog notes.

The price of RON, the native token of the Ronin network, is down 27% on the news, according to CoinGecko.

UPDATE (March 29, 16:20 UTC): Adds price of RON.

More from CoinDesk on Axie Infinity and Ronin Network

Gaming-focused Ronin on Tuesday disclosed a loss of more than $625 million in USDC and ether.

Concerns around emissions of an in-game token caused falling user numbers and a drastic plunge in SLP prices.

The token was trading around $3.75 after launching.


The Festival for the Decentralized World
Thursday - Sunday, June 9-12, 2022
Austin, Texas
Save a Seat Now

DISCLOSURE

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

Andrew Thurman is a tech reporter at CoinDesk with a focus on DeFi.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Andrew Thurman is a tech reporter at CoinDesk with a focus on DeFi.

Trending

1
CoinDesk - Unknown
China Can’t Seem to Stop Bitcoin Mining

Reported hashrate fell to zero for two months in China last year, but it has since returned rather abruptly.

Reported hashrate fell to zero for two months in China last year, but it has since returned rather abruptly.

CoinDesk - Unknown
2
CoinDesk - Unknown
Could Local Digital Currencies Improve Communities?

That's the argument of the president of the RadicalxChange Foundation.

That's the argument of the president of the RadicalxChange Foundation.

CoinDesk - Unknown
3
CoinDesk - Unknown
After the Terra Meltdown: What's Next for Stablecoins?

The largest token collapse in crypto history. So let Luna die.

The largest token collapse in crypto history. So let Luna die.

CoinDesk - Unknown
4
CoinDesk - Unknown
5 Key Takeaways From a16z's State of Crypto Report

The venture firm is extremely bullish on Web 3.

The venture firm is extremely bullish on Web 3.

CoinDesk - Unknown