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Orbit Chain Hackers Move Stolen Funds After Major Security Breach

Orbit Chain Hackers Move Stolen Funds After Major Security Breach


  • Orbit Chain Security Breach: Hackers exploited a vulnerability in Orbit Chain’s cross-chain bridge, resulting in the theft of $82 million worth of digital assets, with recent movements of $48 million to the Tornado Cash mixer.
  • Arkham Intelligence Analysis: The blockchain analytics firm reports that the hackers have moved 8671 ETH ($32M) after a period of inactivity and still hold over $66M in ETH and $20M in DAI and USDT from the initial heist.
  • Speculations on Exploit Origins: Security experts are debating whether compromised keys or a validator code exploit led to the breach, with some suspecting the Lazarus Group’s involvement.

Orbit Chain, a prominent blockchain interoperability platform, fell victim to a significant security breach, resulting in a loss of $82 million. The incident, which occurred in the waning hours of 2023, saw hackers exploit the platform’s cross-chain bridge, a critical vulnerability that has been increasingly targeted in the blockchain community.

Recent developments have surfaced as the hacker group responsible for the attack began moving a substantial portion of the stolen assets. According to reports, $48 million worth of digital assets have been transferred to the Tornado Cash mixer, a service known for obfuscating the trail of cryptocurrency transactions.

Arkham Intelligence Sheds Light on the Attack

Blockchain analytics firm Arkham Intelligence has been closely monitoring the situation and revealed that the attackers, after a prolonged period of inactivity, have resumed their operations.

“In the past hour, the Orbit Chain Exploiter moved 8671 ETH ($32M) to a new address and is currently in the process of depositing it to Tornado Cash,” stated an update from the firm.

Arkham’s investigation estimates that the hackers initially exfiltrated over $100 million in ETH and DAI from Orbit Chain five months ago. The firm’s report indicates that the culprits still possess over $66M in ETH and more than $20M in DAI and USDT.

Orbit Chain Hackers Move Stolen Funds After Major Security Breach

The Mechanics of the Exploit

The exploit’s mechanics have been a topic of intense speculation within the security community. Some experts suggest that compromised private keys may have facilitated the attack, while others propose the possibility of a “validator code exploit.”

Despite the use of multisig wallets to bolster security, the attackers successfully executed transactions involving ETH, USDT, DAI, USDC, and WBTC.

The nature of the attack has led to suspicions of involvement by the Lazarus Group, a notorious cybercriminal organization with alleged ties to North Korea.

Blockchain analysts from Match Systems observed similarities between the Orbit Chain exploit and previous high-profile attacks attributed to the group. Taylor Monahan, a developer at Metamask, concurred with the assessment, noting the attack’s resemblance to the modus operandi of the Lazarus Group.

Monahan’s comments underscore the broader implications of the breach, suggesting that 2024 may see continued financial losses to such nefarious actors.

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