In the volatile world of cryptocurrency, security breaches are an unfortunate reality. Recently, the Stake betting platform became a stark reminder of the vulnerabilities even major crypto platforms face due to improper private key management. In this retrospective, we'll delve into the timeline of the Stake hack, shining a light on pivotal moments where Cyvers Vigilens was the first in the industry to detect & how it could have altered the outcome.
The attacker's first move involved two concurrent transactions, both of which were recorded in the same block:
These transactions signaled the start of a complex theft.
The attacker then launched a series of moves:
Notably, the hacker carried out these transactions with a specific goal in mind: changing the stolen USDT, USDC, and DAI into Ether (ETH) in order to avoid freezing.
The breach unfolded across Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain (BSC), and Polygon, showcasing the attacker's calculated strategy. Ethereum saw approximately $15.7 million drained, involving ETH, USDT, USDC, and DAI. BSC incurred a loss of roughly $17.8 million, including BNB, BSC-USD, USDC, ETH, BUSD, SHIB, LINK, and MATIC. Polygon faced losses of approximately $7.8 million, including DAI, USDT, USDC, and MATIC.
We could have saved all of the USDC, ETH, DAI, and USDT if Stake had employed Cyvers' monitoring tool Vigilens.
Moreover, it's worth noting that the hacker funded those wallets with 1 ETH to pay the gas fee for the swap.These transactions to externally owned accounts were a part of the hacker's meticulously planned strategy.
A closer look at the attack's trajectory unveiled a disconcerting reality. The stolen funds were converted into Ether (ETH) and transferred to several externally owned accounts (EOAs). On-chain evidence strongly hinted at a compromised private key within Stake's wallets. An unsettling discovery surfaced in the DAI transfer transaction, where "uint was = allowed uint (-1)" leads to be a private key compromise.
In the wake of the attack, 4+ hours after Cyvers' first alert, Stake publicly acknowledged unauthorized transactions from their ETH/BSC hot wallets. They initiated an investigation, promising to re-secure the wallets before resuming normal operations. Crucially, Stake assured its users that their funds remained SAFU.
All the stolen funds now sit in four distinct addresses:
On September 6th, the FBI Identified Lazarus Group Cyber Actors as Responsible for the Theft of $41 Million from Stake.com.
The timeline exposes several critical junctures where Cyvers Vigilens could have rewritten the script. As the attacker executed a series of transactions, Vigilens could have detected and reacted in real-time. By proactively identifying the breach and notifying Stake's security team, Cyvers Vigilens might have substantially reduced the scale of the attack, potentially saving millions in losses. This incident underscores the importance of cutting-edge security solutions like Cyvers Vigilens, which has gained recognition and coverage from various crypto news companies like CoinDesk, Investing.com, Cointelegraph, BeInCrypto, Decrypt, Crypto Daily, Bitcoinist, Rekt, and many more.