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Nearly £470M in ETH and USDC Stolen in One of the Biggest Crypto Hacks Ever

Sky Mavis reported that the Ronin Network, which supports its Axie Infinity game, has been hacked in what is being called the largest crypto hack ever.

Hackers have stolen nearly £470 million in Ethereum and USDC from the Ronin Network. Ronin Network’s developers discovered the theft on Tuesday morning after a user reported being unable to withdraw their money from the Ronin bridge.

According to Ronin, after an attacker used hacked private keys to forge two fake withdrawals last week, 173,600 ether tokens and 25.5 million USD coins were taken from its platform.

If Sky Mavis, the Axie Infinity blockchain game creator, is unable to return the funds, it would be a significant setback to its overall treasury and a poor reflection on blockchain-based security, as the whole idea of putting the game on the blockchain is to enable better security.

In its community alert, Ronin wrote: “Sky Mavis’ Ronin chain currently consists of 9 validator nodes. In order to recognize a Deposit event or a Withdrawal event, five out of the nine validator signatures are needed. The attacker managed to get control over Sky Mavis’s four Ronin Validators and a third-party validator run by Axie DAO.

The validator key scheme is set up to be decentralised so that it limits an attack vector, similar to this one, but the attacker found a backdoor through our gas-free RPC node, which they abused to get the signature for the Axie DAO validator”.

Ronin is doing everything in its power to guard against future attacks actively. The network is staying in touch with security teams at major exchanges and is in the process of migrating its nodes.

The Ronin bridge is temporarily paused to ensure no further attack vectors remain open. Additionally, Ronin is working closely with various government agencies to ensure the hackers behind this cybercrime are brought to justice.

So far, the stolen cryptocurrency hasn’t been transferred from the account that made the attack.

Sky Mavis verifies the uniqueness of nonfungible tokens (NFTs), which can authenticate digital items such as the Axie creatures used in the Axie Infinity game using the blockchain.

Blockchain is (supposed to be) a secure and transparent digital ledger, and Ethereum is the second-largest network based on the technology. Ethereum is both a blockchain protocol and the name of a cryptocurrency built on it.

To go around some of Ethereum’s limitations, such as slow, energy-consuming transactions, companies like Sky Mavis have created Layer 2 solutions such as the Ronin Network to execute transactions more quickly, inexpensively, and with minor environmental impacts. But as Sky Mavis has learned, this comes with great risk.

If you are still a firm believer in Ethereum despite the recent events, here’s how you can buy ETH in the UK.