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Binance-linked blockchain suffers from USD 570 million theft (around PHP 33.5B)

The world's largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance is the latest victim of crypto theft after hackers attacked its blockchain network.
Screenshot from Binance website

Binance vs million-dollar theft

In a report by CNN, Binance said on Thursday that its blockchain BNB Smart Chain was offline for about nine hours "due to irregular activity."

A company spokesperson confirmed on Friday that the blockchain was hacked. Two million BNB cryptocurrency tokens, which are worth about USD 570 million at the time (more than PHP 33.6 billion), were stolen by hackers, the company noted.

Binance said $100 million worth of tokens remain "unrecovered" and moved off-chain by the hacker, while the remaining funds have been frozen on the BNB Chain.

"Your funds are safe. We apologize for the inconvenience," Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said in a tweet, who initially estimated USD 100 million worth of crypto had been stolen.

The theft was executed by targeting the cross-chain bridge. Bridges are the infrastructure that allows users to exchange crypto assets between different blockchains.

These usually hold large reserves of various coins, which makes them an attractive target for hackers, especially in recent months.

As with many bridge designs, there is one central point that holds most of the funds that are moving through the bridge, Adrian Hetman, tech lead of the triaging team at Immunefi, told CNBC.

Ultimately, the Bridge was tricked into giving funds from that contract.

Blockchain analysis firm Elliptic noted some USD 1.83 billion has been stolen from bridges as of August, around $1.21 billion for this year alone.

Some of the largest thefts this year include USD 190 million stolen from cryptocurrency bridge provider Nomad in August, California-based firm Harmony's USD 100 million loss in late June, and Axie Infinity's Ronin bridge USD 625 million hacks in March.

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Sources: CNN, CNBC

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