Image source: Money Control
In the crypto space, theft has become a recurring issue among platforms, and Binance has become the latest victim of a major heist.
A Binance spokesperson announced on Friday that a Binance-connected blockchain was the victim of a $570 million hack last week.
On Thursday, the cryptocurrency exchange tweeted that Binance had temporarily suspended BNB Smart Chain, its blockchain network.
The company claimed the suspension was the result of improper activity on the platform.
Binance later released a statement on Friday claiming that hackers stole two million BNB cryptocurrency tokens.
The tokens were valued at $570 million at the time.
Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance, first tweeted that about $100 million worth of cryptocurrencies had been stolen.
He tweeted about the situation on Thursday:
“Your funds are safe. We apologize for the inconvenience.”
According to Binance, tokens worth $100 million remain “unrecovered.”
The hacker also moved the tokens off the chain.
At the moment, the remaining assets of the BNB chain are frozen.
The significant heist was carried out when hackers targeted a cross-chain bridge.
Cross-chain bridges are a common feature in cryptocurrency platforms today.
Bridges are the infrastructure that allows users to exchange crypto assets across different blockchains.
Their services usually have large reserves of various currencies.
This puts coin reserves at the center of the hacker radar.
Blockchain analytics firm Elliptic stated that coin reserves have made blockchain bridges prime targets for theft.
And recently, bridges have become the primary targets for most hackers.
Elliptic reports that about $1.83 billion was stolen from bridges in August.
The majority of the theft ($1.21 billion) was stolen in 2022.
Binance wasn’t alone, as others witnessed major thefts in 2022.
Among other losses are $190 million, which was stolen from cryptocurrency bridge provider Nomad in August.
In June, California-based Harmony announced a $100 million loss in late June.
Earlier this year, Axie Infinity’s Ronin Bridge lost $625 million in March.
Effects of the Binance hack
The latest hack prompted the BNB blockchain to go offline for about nine hours.
BNB published a corporate post stating that the chain’s ecosystem had contacted the chain’s validators to prevent the theft from spreading further.
Chain validators are people who verify that transactions on the blockchain are legitimate.
According to a tweet from Binance, the channel came back online at around 2:30 p.m. ET.