Ankr Confirms Latest Exploit, Halts Trading Of aBNBc

Ankr, a BNB Chain-based DeFi platform, has confirmed a recent attack by a hacker. The protocol confirmed that hackers stole assets worth millions of dollars on December 1st.

PeckShield, an on-chain security platform, first discovered the attack on December 2nd. One hour after the exploit, Ankr confirmed the incident on its official Twitter account.

How Did The Attack Happen?

According to Ankr, the hacker exploited the aBNB token. The DeFi protocol noted that it is currently in talks with crypto exchanges to stop trading the aBNBc tokens.

Reports reveal that the hacker minted over 20 trillion aBNBc. aBNBc is a reward-bearing token given to users who stake BNB on the protocol.

Furthermore, LookOnChain, an on-chain analytical network, also tweeted about the incident. Lookonchain argued that the hacker used Tornado Cash, Uniswap, and other bridges to swap and conceal the assets.

As a result, the hacker gained USDC worth over $5 million. Meanwhile, the on-chain firm noted that the attack did not affect Ankr infrastructure services and other underlying assets.

Beosin, a blockchain security company, added that the exploiter took advantage of vulnerabilities in the protocol’s smart contract code. Also, the attacker reportedly had access to compromised private keys.

The security firm said the hacker might have gotten access to these private keys after the Ankr team conducted a technical upgrade 12 hours before the attack.

“The private keys of a deployer were likely leaked in this update, leading to an intruder leveraging deployer access to change the contract,” a spokesperson at Beosin stated.

HAY Destablecoin Depegs After Ankr Exploit 

According to Beosin, the mass minting by the hacker made aBNBc’s price drop from $303.89 to $1.53, a fall of about 99.5% within a few hours.

On December 2nd, Binance exchange tweeted that its security team is currently on the matter. The tweet stated they are working with relevant agencies to evaluate the situation.

Also, they encouraged Binance users to remain calm as their funds are still safe. BNB Chain, on its official Twitter account, highlighted that they had blocked the hacker’s wallet address.

Meanwhile, recent reports reveal that HAY, a BNB Chain-based destablecoin, has depegged following the attack on Ankr. At the time of writing, HAY is trading at the $0.600 region after hitting a bottom of $0.40

The Ankr team promised to update users on the situation via Twitter updates. Meanwhile, HAY is another stablecoin that has joined the list of stablecoins that have lost their pegs in 2022.

Some stablecoins that lost their USD pegs in 2022 include USDD, HUSD, USDT, and DEI. Meanwhile, one stablecoin that stands out among them is Terra’s UST. The de-pegging of the stablecoin in May sent the entire crypto market into disarray.