Ronin Network, an Ethereum-linked sidechain, assured that it had identified the hackers responsible for the $600M+ exploit last month and that all user funds were “in the process” of being restored. Additionally, the entity has implemented additional security measures to protect against such attacks in future.
Additional Information on the Hack
According to the project, the cyber attack occurred on March 23. The Sky Mavis team identified it on March 29. The entity explained that the breach was not discovered immediately because they didn’t have a system to monitor large outflows from bridges.
Five of the nine validator keys were taken by criminals – four Sky Mavis validators, 1 Axie DAO and 4 Sky Mavis validators – and they were used to steal 173,600 Ethereum and 25.5 millions worth of USDC. The total crypto assets were approximately $620 million. Two transactions were used by the criminals to drain the crypto assets.
Ronin Network revealed that hackers had hacked into one Sky Mavis employee to gain control. The organization fired the employee after learning about the connection between the incident and the individual.
Sky Mavis was the only validator at the time of hacking. This would have been insufficient to forge withdrawals. The validator key scheme relies on decentralization and restricts an attack vector. The wrongdoers discovered a “backdoor” through the gas-free RPC Node. They used it to obtain the signature for Axie DAO Validator.
Security System Enhancement
CrowdStrike and Polaris Infosec were among the top security experts that the company pledged to work together to stop such attacks. It also collaborated to ensure that hackers cannot breach the network’s defense.
Sky Mavis increased the number of validating nodes in the Ronin Network from nine to eleven. The organization will push this number to 21 in the next three months with the long-term goal to have over 100.
It also demands stricter internal procedures. The project plans to offer more training courses to its employees to prepare them for if such a case happens again.
Ronin is the gold standard in security. Security experts are looking at all architectures and code to ensure that it is optimized.
Who were the Hackers?
Ronin Network agreed to the FBI’s claim that the most prominent North Korean cybercrime gang, “The Lazarus Group”, carried out the attack. According to the hackers, they were “extremely resourceful” and “sophisticated”, having been involved in numerous similar attacks in recent months. Ronin also thanked the US authorities and for identifying the attackers.
Although the Ronin Network bridge was expected to open by April’s end, it will be delayed until May/early June. Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, will continue to support the network. It will allow users of Axie Infinity to withdraw wETH or USDC and deposit funds.
“We had hoped to have the upgrade in place by April’s end, but it isn’t something we can afford to rush. It is crucial that the bridge secures billions of dollars worth assets and is done correctly. The bridge should reopen mid- to late May if all goes according to plan.
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