The Horizon Bridge to the Harmony layer-1 blockchain has been hit by a major security breach that saw an estimated $100 million worth of cryptocurrency successfully siphoned out of the protocol.
Latest DeFi Bridge Exploit Results In $100M Losses For Horizon
The Harmony team announced the news Friday morning, confirming that it had “identified a theft occurring this morning on the Horizon bridge amounting to approx. $100MM,” adding that the bridge had been halted to prevent further transactions.
It went on to note that the address of the hacker had been identified and that it was working closely with relevant authorities and forensic experts to recover the stolen assets. Harmony said in a follow-up tweet that it’s “working around the clock” alongside the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and several cyber security firms as it continues investigations into the unfortunate event.
The attacker is said to have stolen tokens like Frax (FRAX), Wrapped Ether (wETH), Wrapped BTC (WBTC), Aave (AAVE), Frax Share (FXS), Binance USD (BUSD), Dai (DAI), AAG (AAG), USD Coin (USDC), Sushi (SUSHI), and Tether (USDT) from the bridge and swapped them for Ethereum. However, the bad actor(s) has not yet moved the ill-gotten funds to exchanges or mixing services like Tornado Cash as of press time.
Harmony insists the hack did not impact its trustless bitcoin bridge. “Its funds and assets stored on decentralized vaults are safe at this time,” the team stated.
Harmony is a layer-one blockchain that uses the proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism. The Horizon Bridge allows users to send and receive crypto tokens, stablecoins, and NFTs between Harmony blockchains and the Ethereum network, bitcoin, and the BNB Chain.
Meanwhile, Harmony’s native token ONE has tanked 10.73% over the past 24 hours to trade at $0.02419, according to data from CoinMarketCap. This was despite the broader crypto market witnessing a significant recovery, with bitcoin reclaiming the $21,000 level.
The vulnerability of token bridges has been a serious bone of contention within the cryptosphere for quite a while now. In January this year, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin warned about the shortcomings of cross-chain bridges, highlighting the security risks inherent in such protocols.
Incidentally, since his admonition, Axie Infinity’s Ronin Bridge, the Wormhole Bridge, and Meter Passport token bridge suffered exploits that enabled the hackers to walk away with close to $1 billion in stolen crypto combined.