June 5, 2024
BNB Chain Loses $80K Bitcoin Might be a White Hat Hacker
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BNB Chain Loses $80K Bitcoin Might be a White Hat Hacker

Approximately $80,000 worth of Bitcoin (BTC), which was trading at $68,372, was potentially lost in a suspected exploit on the BNB Chain involving multiple suspicious transactions. Although $80,000 is a relatively small amount compared to the average crypto exploit, this incident has raised questions about the intentions of the hacker.

The specific exploited token contract remains unidentified. According to on-chain security firm Cyvers, the attacker might be a white hat hacker, or ethical hacker, using their skills to identify security vulnerabilities. In a May 28 post on X (formerly Twitter), Cyvers stated:

“The total loss is approximately $80K. The attacker received funding via TornadoCash and has also interacted with the Binance exchange, indicating a possible white hat action.”

$80,000 Bitcoin exploit on BNB, transactions. Source: Cyvers Alerts

Despite receiving funding from the cryptocurrency mixing service Tornado Cash, the exploiter also interacted with Binance, the world’s largest centralized exchange.

Unusual Behavior and Potential Motives

Typically, sophisticated crypto hackers with malicious intent avoid interacting with large centralized exchanges like Binance, which require Know Your Customer (KYC) verification, potentially revealing the identities of malicious actors. This behavior has led to speculation about the attacker’s true motives, whether ethical or otherwise.

The timing of this potential exploit is notable, occurring just a week after Gala Games suffered a $23 million exploit involving Gala (GALA) tokens. According to Gala Games co-founder and CEO Eric Schiermeyer, the exploit resulted from an issue with “internal controls,” which the team has since resolved. In a surprising turn of events, the hacker returned $22.3 million worth of Ether (ETH), which was approximately the market value of the 600 million GALA tokens they had stolen and sold a day earlier after the attacker’s wallet was frozen with the stolen funds.

The trend of Returning Stolen Funds

The return of the funds came after Eric Schiermeyer identified the alleged attacker, including “his home address,” in a May 20 post on X and Discord. This incident marks the second time in May that a thief has returned stolen funds.

Earlier this month, $71 million worth of cryptocurrencies stolen from a wallet poisoning scam were returned to the victim. The unknown attacker returned the $71 million on May 12, following the high-profile phishing incident that caught the attention of multiple blockchain investigation firms. However, on-chain transactions suggest that the attacker was not an ethical hacker but a malicious actor who was frightened by the mainstream attention and decided to return the funds.

These incidents highlight the complex and sometimes contradictory nature of crypto exploits and the motivations behind them. While some attackers may be driven by ethical concerns or fear of repercussions, others may be opportunistic, reacting to increased scrutiny and the potential risks of being identified. As the crypto space continues to evolve, the actions of both white hat and malicious hackers will play a significant role in shaping the security landscape.

Image by freepik

Disclosure Statement: Miami Crypto does not take any external funding, or support to bring crypto news to the readers. We do not have any conflicts of interest while writing news stories on Miami Crypto.

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