Orbit Chain Becomes Last Exploited DeFi Protocol of 2023

Cross-chain scalability protocol Orbit Chain suffered the last major exploit in 2023, with millions of dollars lost from multiple blockchains.

According to data insights from crypto analytics service provider Lookonchain, at least five different chains were impacted by the attack, with the largest stolen amount coming in at $30 million in USDT. In addition, a total of 9,500 Ethereum, worth approximately $21.6 million, were also carted away.

The Orbit Chain exploiter also moved $10 million in USDC and DAI stablecoins, each alongside 230.88 WBTC worth about $9.8 million at the time of the hack.

Orbit Chain Confirms the Hack

Typical of protocols that suffer a similar fate, Orbit Chain has confirmed the exploit to its users, noting that the hack occurred via an unidentified access to the Orbit Bridge yesterday at 08:52:47 PM (UTC).

While the protocol said it is conducting a comprehensive analysis to understand the root cause, it confirmed its ongoing coordination with international law enforcement agencies.

Some in the Orbit Chain ecosystem have started launching fake refund campaigns, looking to capitalize on the desperation of impacted users. Orbit Chain protocol has denounced all involvement with these refund claims.

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In the later post-hack analysis, Orbit Chain revealed that the attacker seeded the initial ETH liquidity using Tornado Cash, the US-sanctioned crypto mixing tool

Orbit Chain identified at least six addresses used by the hacker to receive the stolen funds and at least eight addresses where the stolen funds were sent.

Precedent for the Industry?

The attack on Orbit Chain is proof that the DeFi and broader blockchain ecosystem is not free from the pangs of cybercriminals. 

In 2023, a series of attacks were recorded spanning Decentralized Exchanges (DEXs) like the OKX DEX and bridges like Heco’s, which saw over 346 billion SHIB lost in November. That month, a report held that over $290 million was stolen from crypto projects in November alone.

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