Popular cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex is reeling from a major security breach that has seemingly resulted in the theft of over $100 million in Bitcoin, Ether, and other crypto assets.
The exchange, which has been a prominent player in the crypto space since 2014, appears to have fallen victim to a hack on one of its wallets, named Poloniex 4, according to data from Etherscan.
Security firm Peckshield has been closely monitoring the situation and noted that the hacker behind the breach swiftly initiated suspicious outflows from the compromised wallet. These outflows included a substantial sum of digital assets, with initial reports indicating that the attacker moved approximately $21.73 million in USDT, $14.05 million in BTC, $10.4 million in ETH, $3.65 million in USDD, and $1.78 million in USDC to various destination addresses.
However, within minutes, the gravity of the situation escalated, with data from crypto intelligence firm Arkham Intelligence revealing that the hacker had orchestrated the movement of a staggering $117.4 million worth of tokens from Poloniex through a total of 357 transactions.
In response to the security incident, Poloniex temporarily disabled the compromised wallet for maintenance tweeting, “our wallet has been disabled for maintenance. We will update this thread once the wallet has been re-enabled.” This move is part of the ongoing efforts to contain the damage and prevent further losses.
Poloniex’s owner, Justin Sun, founder of the Tron blockchain, also took to X (formerly Twitter) stating that a comprehensive investigation into the Poloniex hack was already underway. Sun further underscored the exchange’s solid financial standing and its unwavering commitment to fully reimburse the affected users for their losses.
In a subsequent tweet, Sun offered a 5% white hat bounty to the Poloniex hacker, encouraging them to return the stolen funds.
“Please return the funds to the following ETH/TRX/BTC wallets…We will give you 7 days to consider this offer before we engage law enforcement,” wrote Sun.
In a separate tweet, Arkham also announced a bounty of 10,000 ARKM tokens, the platform’s native cryptocurrency, worth around $4,140, for information leading to the identification of the individual or entity responsible for the attack. This reward is expected to incentivize the crypto community to assist in tracking down the hacker.
That said, as the investigation unfolds, the incident serves as a stark reminder of the security challenges that centralized exchanges continue to face in the fast-paced world of cryptocurrencies.