In the dynamic world of cryptocurrency, hacks and heists have often hit headlines. The notorious 2022 attack on FTX, a leading crypto exchange, is back in the limelight. Recent developments indicate a shift in the hacker’s strategy, raising several eyebrows and reigniting speculations.
The FTX Hack – A Recap:
FTX, one of the largest crypto exchanges globally, faced a staggering breach in 2022, resulting in a substantial amount of Ethereum being stolen. Original estimates indicated losses of up to $400 million. However, after a comprehensive review, FTX confirmed losses approximating $323 million.
Culprit Switches Tactic:
Renowned on-chain analyst, Lookonchain, made a startling observation on October 6th. The individual responsible for the FTX hack had shifted gears from using THORChain for laundering their assets. Now, they’ve turned their sights to the Threshold Network.
Data suggests that the attacker converted an impressive 3,000 Ether (ETH), equivalent to $4.9 million, into tBTC via Threshold. Subsequently, they successfully laundered about 75,636 ETH (worth around $124 million) into Bitcoin. An alarming sum of 109,485 ETH, or nearly $180 million, is still lurking in their possession.
Why the Shift?:
Threshold stands out as a decentralized bridge linking Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum. It empowers users to switch their assets to tBTC, an ERC-20 token matching Bitcoin’s value. Initially, the hacker’s go-to was THORSwap. However, in a swift turn of events, THORSwap suspended operations on October 6th to deter further unlawful activities. This decision, informed by exhaustive internal dialogues and guidance from legal professionals, aims to curtail illegal transfers until an infallible security measure is devised.
Before this, reports showed that the hacker had funneled at least $38 million worth of ETH through THORSwap and another privacy-centric platform, Railgun.
Who’s Behind the Mask?:
The shadowy figure orchestrating this massive heist remains elusive. Still, murmurs within crypto circles hint at the possible involvement of the contentious FTX founder, Sam Bankman-Fried. Facing charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering, Bankman-Fried’s current legal battles have only fanned the flames of these speculations.
Bankman-Fried, however, remains steadfast, vehemently denying any links to the heist. The synchronicity of the substantial fund movements and his trial has, nevertheless, piqued curiosity about potential insider complicity.
The FTX heist saga unfolds, revealing intricate strategies and a world of speculation. As the industry watches closely, the hope remains that clarity will emerge, ensuring such security breaches become a thing of the past.
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