CertiK Uncovers Trail of $41M in BNB and MATIC as Hackers Behind Stake Heist Make Their Move

The perpetrators responsible for the staggering $41 million hack on cryptocurrency platform Stake have executed another crypto maneuver, transferring a sum of approximately $328,000 million in Polygon MATIC and Binance Coin (BNB) tokens. This latest development comes in the wake of the initial attack on September 4th and has been brought to light by blockchain security firm CertiK.

In this recent transfer, 300 BNB tokens valued at roughly $61,500 were sent to an externally owned address with the identifier “0x695…”. These tokens were then moved onto the Avalanche blockchain on September 11th at 4:09 pm UTC. Simultaneously, another 520,000 MATIC tokens, valued at over $266,000, were relocated to Avalanche approximately seven hours earlier, at 7:18 am UTC.

These transfers of 520,000 MATIC and 300 BNB tokens, constituting a total of $328,000, are an addition to the $4.5 million in stolen funds that were previously shifted to the Bitcoin blockchain in the form of BTC on September 7th, as reported by the blockchain security firm Arkham.

However, it’s crucial to note that the total sum of $4.8 million that has been moved accounts for only 1.2% of the entire $41 million stolen during the initial breach. This major security breach occurred when the hacker gained access to Stake’s private key for both the Binance Smart Chain and Ethereum hot wallets, executing the hack on September 4th. It’s worth mentioning that the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation suspects the involvement of North Korea’s Lazarus Group in this exploit.

With the $41 million loss incurred by Stake, the cryptocurrency industry has now witnessed malicious actors siphoning off more than $1 billion in 2023 alone. CertiK had previously reported this figure at $997 million at the end of August, but a series of recent attacks in the past two weeks have propelled the total past the $1 billion milestone.

In September alone, a cryptocurrency whale fell victim to a $24 million phishing attack involving staked Ether (ETH) on September 6th. On September 9th, Vitalik Buterin’s X (formerly Twitter) account was compromised, leading to a nonfungible token scam that swindled victims out of a collective $691,000. These three incidents alone are estimated to push CertiK’s August total beyond the $1.04 billion mark.

Additional recent incidents further contribute to this escalating figure, including a $13.2 million setback for investors due to PEPE coin’s withdrawal incident, a $7.3 million exploit affecting Exactly Protocol, and a security vulnerability exposed on Balancer, which resulted in damages amounting to $2.1 million.

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