Second Biggest Crypto Hack Ever: $600 Million In Ether Stolen From NFT Gaming Blockchain

Hackers allegedly breached gaming-focused blockchain platform Ronin Network last week and extracted cryptocurrencies now valued at more than $600 million, the company announced on Tuesday, marking the second-biggest hack ever in the burgeoning cryptocurrency space.

“There has been a security breach,” Ronin, an Ethereum-linked blockchain platform for non-fungible token-based video game Axie Infinity, the company wrote in a blog post on Tuesday, adding that the hack was discovered today but occurred on Wednesday.

According to Ronin, 173,600 ether tokens and 25.5 million USD coins—worth nearly $620 on Tuesday—were drained from its platform after an attacker used hacked private keys to forge two fake withdrawals last week.

The platform discovered the attack after a user reported being unable to withdraw 5,000 ether tokens, worth $17 million, from the network on Tuesday morning.

In an email, Tom Robinson, chief scientist at blockchain analytics firm Elliptic, pointed out the heist was the second-biggest hack ever, based on the value of the cryptocurrency at the time of the attack—about $540 million.

Only a $600 million hack of blockchain-based platform Poly Network in August is larger, according to Elliptic; those funds were ultimately retrieved after a slew of crypto exchanges and blockchain firms started tracking identity clues on the blockchain.

In the Tuesday blog post, Ronin said it has reached out to security teams at major exchanges and blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis for help and has temporarily halted transactions on its network “to ensure no further” attack vectors remain open for the hacker to exploit any cybersecurity vulnerabilities.