DeFi Protocol Ankr Loses $5M to Hack — Many Tokens Affected

Key Takeaways:

  • BNB Chain-based DeFi platform Ankr protocol has suffered an attack
  • According to reports, exploiters minted six quadrillions of the aBNBc tokens
  • The stolen funds were then converted into USDC tokens through cryptocurrency tumbler Tornado Cash
DeFi Protocol Ankr Loses $5M to Hack — Many Tokens Affected
DeFi Protocol Ankr Loses $5M to Hack — Many Tokens Affected

YEREVAN (CoinChapter.com) — Decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol Ankr is the latest victim of a massive exploit. According to reports, attackers drained the Binance (BNB) Chain-based platform of $5 million. 

Ankr is a decentralized Web3 infrastructure provider that connects developers, decentralized applications, and stakers on several blockchains. It allows users to set up and run nodes remotely and provides various staking options.

Users can also mint ANKR, the platform’s native token, by contributing their idle computing power to the network.

According to blockchain security research firm PeckShield, a bug in Ankr’s code was behind the exploit. It allegedly allowed users to mint an unlimited amount of tokens arbitrarily. As a result, the hacker minted six quadrillions of the Ankr Reward Bearing Staked BNB (aBNBc) token.

Blockchain security firm PeckShield alerted about the hack on Binance chain-based DeFi Protocol Ankr
Blockchain security firm PeckShield alerted about the hack DeFi Protocol Ankr

The attacker then used the decentralized cryptocurrency tumbler Tornado Cash to cover his tracks. However, some users pointed out that the hacker swapped the stolen BNB tokens for 5 million USDC.

Ankr Protocol, Binance Confirm the Hack

After news of the possible exploit spread, Ankr protocol took to Twitter to confirm the hack. According to the platform, they had already contacted exchanges to stop the trade of the compromised tokens. 

“Our aBNB token has been exploited… We have been in touch with the DEXes and told them to block trading. We will reissue tokens in the future after we assess the situation,” 

Ankr protocol wrote
Ankr protocol confirmed the hack on its protocol after exploiters run away with $5 million
BNB chain-based DeFi protocol Ank confirmed the hack on its protocol

The platform also promised that they are “currently drafting a plan and are committed to compensating affected users.” 

Largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance, on whose platform the Ankr protocol functions, also confirmed the hack. However, it also clarified that all funds on the exchange remain safe.

“We are aware of the attack targeting ankr’s aBNBc token. Our team is engaged with the relevant parties and BNBCHAIN to investigate further. This is not an attack against Binance, and your funds are SAFU on our exchange,” 

Binance informed
 Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao also confirmed DeFi Protocol Ankr hack
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao also confirmed the hack on DeFi Protocol Ankr

The crypto exchange’s CEO Changpeng Zhao also posted about the exploit. According to him, the hacker used the stolen aBNBc to borrow $16 million of the HAY stablecoin. He then converted this stablecoin into BUSD.

Recommended: Another DeFi Hack! Solana’s Solend Suffers $1.26M exploit

aBNBc, HAY, and BNB Tokens Tank

According to data available on CoinMarketCap, the exploited aBNBc token is on a freefall. It has plunged over 99.5%, crashing from around $311 per token before the exploit to $1.5 at the time of writing. 

aBNBc, the exploited token in the  Binance chain-based  Ankr protocol hack, tanked over 99%
aBNBc, the exploited token in the Ankr protocol hack, tanked over 99%. Source: CoinMarketCap

Meanwhile, the little-known BNB-back HAY stablecoin has also lost its peg. As a result, the development fell to as low as 20 cents per token. However, it has since recovered and is trading at $0.65 per token. 

BNB, the native token of Binance, also suffered slight losses. As the CoinMarketCap charts reveal, it fell nearly 5% due to the hack, going from $300 to $286. The reassurance from Binance, however, seems to have worked, preventing a larger drop in its price.

As CoinChapter earlier reported, hacks on DeFi protocols have become commonplace. With the crypto industry facing backlash over Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX fiasco, hacks like this further harm the growing sector’s reputation. 

Worried about crypto hacks? Click here to read our extensive report on how to keep your tokens safe from hackers.

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DeFi Protocol Ankr, DeFi Protocol Ankr Loses $5M to Hack — Many Tokens Affected

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