While human beings are really the smartest species our world has ever seen, it hasn’t kept them from making their fair share of errors along the way. Hence, to better protect themselves under such situations, humans would conceive a host of unique ideas. Now, while all these ideas added to our lives in a wholly unique manner, none of them, notably enough, did it quite like technology. Technology appears as such a clear-cut anomaly mainly because it didn’t just compensated for our flaws, but it also made us smarter than ever before, therefore eventually steering us towards some notable milestones. This, however, shouldn’t mean that the creation was just a wholly perfect concept. In fact, given its volatile nature, technology’s flipside will go on to trigger problems that were just too big for us. Mind you, we did get better at dealing with them over time, but unfortunately, so did these problems, and a recent cyberattack is a clear example of it.
Harmony, the company behind the well-known blockchain bridge called Horizon, has officially confirmed that it was hit by a cyberattack, which set the bridge back by around $100 million. Interestingly enough, the breach does a lot to follow up on investors’ concerns about Horizon’s overall security. Till now, Horizon’s security has pretty much relied upon a multisig system that would only ever ask for two authorized signature to initiate transactions, hence making it extremely easy on the hackers to crack the system. According to certain reports, the theft was carried out through 14 separate transactions across Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain. As for what blockchain tokens were stolen, the reports hint at a mix of stablecoins, UDST, USDC, dai, DeFi tokens AAVE, and SUSHI. In response, Horizon has placed a temporary pause on all the operations. Beyond that, the organization has also alerted crypto exchanges regarding the incident so to block any potential transfer of the stolen funds.
Taking further claims into account, Harmony has already identified the culprit, and it is working with “national authorities and forensic specialists” to retrieve the stolen funds. The stated breach joins a long list of attacks on blockchain bridges in 2022. Before Horizon, we witnessed The Ronin Network, which supports crypto game Axie Infinity, losing more than $600 million in a similar breach, while Wormhole saw a theft of around $320 million.
When quizzed about this trend, Jess Symington, research lead at blockchain analysis firm Elliptic, deemed their extremely lucrative nature as the primary reason.
“In order for individuals to use bridges to move their funds, assets are locked on one blockchain and unlocked, or minted, on another,” Symington said. “As a result, these services hold large volumes of cryptoassets.”