On Monday evening, attackers manipulated the cross-chain blockchain protocol Nomad. This is now the latest among several bridge exploits that have transpired this year. The exact amount is yet to be confirmed but early reports suggest that the hackers stole crypto-assets worth more than $150 million. A researcher at crypto investment firm Paradigm illustrated that a recent update to one of Nomad’s smart contracts made it easy for users to spoof transactions.
Nomad, like any other cross-chain bridges, authorizes users to send and receive tokens between different blockchains. Monday’s attack is the latest in a string of highly-publicized incidents which have drawn the security of cross-chain bridges into question once again.
The Nomad team acknowledged the exploit and informed the Twitter users about their next steps:
The Nomad team has notified that working around the clock with Law enforcement to address the situation and provide timely updates. Their goal is to identify the accounts involved and to trace and retrieve the funds.
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Insights into Nomad Hack
It all started with a suspicious transaction removing 100 encased Bitcoin (WBTC) worth $2.3 million from the bridge. Regardless, the incident has seen a number of tokens exploited from the bridge. This includes the likes of Wrapped Ether (WETH), Covalent Query Token (CQT), USD Coin (USDC), IAGON (IAG), Frax (FRAX), Hummingbird Governance Token (HBOT), Card Starter (CARDS), GeroWallet (GERO), Dai (DAI), and others.
Interestingly, this hack has been quite distinct from other bridge exploits that occurred in 2022. During the hacking event, hundreds of addresses acquired tokens directly from the bridge.
Also, hackers removed all of these tokens in an uncommon pattern. They removed tokens from the bridge in equal denominations and attackers completed over 200 transactions each with precisely 202,440.725413 USD.
Bridge exploits have been a very standard form of exploit over the last years. Millions of dollars of investors’ funds have been lost in different hacks. In the past, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has raised concern over the use of bridges for cross-chain transfer of funds.
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