ransactions on the Binance blockchain, also widely recognized as the BNB Chain and the Binance Smart Chain, were stopped today after a potential network exploit was discovered via an increase in irregular activity.

BNB Chain made the initial announcement on Twitter at 9:19 p.m. EDT, stating that there would be a temporary short delay on the BSC network. However, by 9:35 p.m. EDT, the network pause had turned into a complete shutdown.

According to the blockchain security firm SlowMist, the exploit enabled fraudsters to steal more than $570 million in digital assets such as Ethereum, Arbitrum, Optimism Polygon, BNB Chain, Avalanche, and Fantom.

"The attacker is spreading funds across liquidity pools and leveraging every bridge they can to gain access to safer chains," blockchain developer @0xfoobar wrote on Twitter, adding that the chain was in complete chaos.

This exploit had the possibility to be "either the first or the second largest hack of all time," @0xfoobar told Decrypt in a direct message. However, the actual impact will be markedly less given the society's mitigation efforts.

The total value of the hack has yet to be assessed, and it presently varies depending on how the worth of frozen versus relocated tokens is accounted for. The tokens were not pre-existing tokens looted from wallets but were entirely generated by the attacker.

According to Sam Sun, a Paradigm analyst, the hacker persuaded the Binance Bridge to distribute 1 million BNB tokens. When it operated, the hacker used the same malicious code to have another 1 million tokens delivered to a different address.

By 10:20 p.m. EDT, BNB Chain reported that $7 million in assets had already been frozen before being transferred, but it also admitted somewhere between $70 million and $80 million had been seized from the platform.

The group expressed gratitude to the Binance community and security staff for their efforts and individually commended a number of node services for their prompt and decisive actions.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao later posted a statement pointing to a Reddit thread where the company issued more precise information and estimated the current impact at around $100 million USD equivalent.

This type of attack is related to the notable Ronin and Harmony Horizon Bridge exploits. Harmony Bridge was broken cryptography, while Ronin was a private key exploit—the exact methodology differed slightly, but the basic principles of damaged cryptographic verification were the same.

What are your thoughts on Binance suspending trading? Do you think this was a well-executed move by the platform? Drop your comments by sharing this article on social media.

Oct 7, 2022
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