Cybercriminals stole $100 million in Cryptocurrency after hacking Horizon, a so-called Blockchain bridge. Harmony, the Blockchain startup behind Horizon announced that it had discovered the theft and was working with forensics and police authorities in hopes of tracking down those responsible for the attack. Blockchain bridges allow users to transfer Cryptocurrencies between Blockchains. Harmony said its separate bridge used for bitcoins was not affected by the hack and that its funds and assets are safe.
Blockchain technology is a type of shared digital ledger that enables decentralized transactions of Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. The decentralized nature of this technology attracts cyber criminals since it is very difficult to track down malicious transactions that happen over the Blockchain.
Public Blockchain networks typically allow anyone to join and for participants to remain anonymous. A Public Blockchain uses internet-connected computers to validate transactions and achieve consensus. This raises a potential threat, where anyone can be a part of that particular Blockchain and yet remain anonymous. Transactions of Cryptocurrency on the Public Blockchain enables hackers to exchange Cryptocurrency whilst being anonymous.
Hackers use Cryptocurrency for all their trade and transactions. The untraceable nature of this currency enables them to stay safe and undetected.
The same was used to hack and steal $100 million in Cryptocurrency from the Blockchain bridge Horizon. The break-in and looting of Horizon was not the first this year. In March, cybercriminals stole about $620 Million worth of Cryptocurrency from the network used to process in-game transactions for Axie Infinity, one of the world’s most popular NFT video games.
Meanwhile, the values of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies have plunged this year as coin holders sold their holdings due to the downturn in the economy.
Harmony and other Blockchain bridges or applications were developed to accept multiple tokens, as additional Cryptocurrencies are introduced in the digital world. Horizon offers cross-chain exchanges between the Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain. This provides users with more options to do transactions across multiple chains.
With the growing popularity of Cryptocurrency and the Blockchain technology, emphasis has to be placed on securing these applications and making sure unauthorized users do not get access to the transactional details of any Blockchain transactions. Companies like Horizon must become more vigilant about the security of their applications in order to avoid such enormous financial losses. Proper cyber security regulations must be implemented and an incident response team must be in place to deal with such sudden attacks.