ALVARO'S CYBER SECURITY COLUMN - RUSSIA'S IT CAPACITY PROBLEMS
Written by Charlie Palmer on 01/04/2022

The latest cryptocurrency hack has targeted a gaming-focused blockchain network, on which the popular video game Axie Infinity is based. Hackers are known to have managed to steal some $625 million in Ethereum and USDC, two cryptocurrencies. This attack has been defined as one of the biggest crypto hacks of all time.


To achieve their goal, the hackers breached the Ronin Network, an independent, Ethereum-compatible blockchain developed by Axie Infinity publisher Sky Mavis.


Axie Infinity co-founder Jeff Zirlin spoke about the hack during a keynote address at the NFT LA conference in Los Angeles. It should be remembered that 'Axie Infinity' is one of the games with the highest revenue growth in history since its arrival on the market. It's like an "NFT Pokémon" that sells that we can earn money playing.


Last year, an anonymous hacker stole approximately $610 million in cryptocurrency from the Poly Network, a decentralized finance network, in what was called the largest cryptocurrency heist in history. The hacker later returned them and received a job opportunity.  As early as March 23, the attackers compromised the private keys used to validate transactions on the network, according to Ronin. These keys allowed malicious actors to fake withdrawals. The activity went unnoticed until a user was unable to withdraw funds and filed a complaint.


This incident has already served to raise the voice of those who often remind themselves of the risks of this decentralized market. For example, John Reed Stark, former chief of the Internet Compliance Office at the Securities and Exchange Commission, told CNN that the latest hack "is a sobering reminder of how vulnerable Web3 marketplaces are to cyberattacks." Web3 refers to the idea of a decentralized internet powered by blockchain, the technology that underpins various cryptocurrencies.  Stark himself said that "the Web3 market is so fraught with chaos and anarchy that we may never know the truth of what happened." "Unlike US financial companies that must report cyberattacks fairly, accurately, quickly, etc., NFT and other Web3 marketplaces don't have to report anything at all," he recalled.

Axie Infinity is a Web3 game in which players use NFT digital pets, called Axies, to interact with other players. Each person can use their Axies to fight against others and to breed new Axies. In 2021, the game's creator raised $152 million in series B funding led by famed venture capital fund Andreessen Horowitz.  According to a Ronin network post, the system has stopped activity on networks that allow players to convert assets in the Axie Infinity universe and convert currency between blockchains. Players holding digital funds on the Ronin network are currently unable to transact.

Alvaro Gonzalez Cyber security expert for BAT - AUDITS AVAILABLE ON CYBER SECURITY, LEADING TO CYBER ESSENTIALS CERTIFICATION


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