BREAKING: Ankr Calls for Immediate Halt on aBNBc - Multi-Million Dollar Exploit

By kev_nag | kev_nag | 2 Dec 2022

Blockchain based DeFi protocol Ankr tweeted confirmation that it was hit with a huge multi-million dollar exploit. The exploit was first discovered by Peckshield, an on-chain security analyst on December 2, 2022 at approximately 00:35 UTC.

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Quickly thereafter Ankr confirmed the exploit and was taking steps to halt trading in the exploited token.

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Specifically regarding the exploit, it appears that the exploiter was able to mint 20 Trillion aBNBc tokens. aBNBc (Ankr Reward Bearing Staked BNB) is the reward token given for BNB which users stake to the Ankr protocol. As of right now, it appears that the exploiter took advantage of vulnerabilities in the smart contract code using private keys which were compromised. This vulnerability may have been presented to the Ankr protocol system as a result of an upgrade conducted by Ankr some 12 hours earlier.

Per on-chain analysis firm Lookonchain, the attacker herein has utilized Uniswap, Tornado Cash, and various bridges to swap and conceal the exploited funds and in fact has gained approximately $5 Million USDC from their efforts.

Approximately 30 minutes following Ankr’s confirmation of the exploit, Ankr further tweeted:

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As one can imagine, this mass minting exploit of Ankr’s aBNBc token tanked its price. In data obtained from CoinMarketCap, following the exploit the price of aBNBc fell some 99.5%, falling from $303.89 per token to $1.53 per token in the course of several hours. This precipitous drop is amply shown in the following one-day price chart:

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