The Crypto World Rocked - Inside FTX's Multi-Million Dollar Breach

A significant exploit stood out today, one involving the theft of a staggering 175,496 ETH (approximately $294 million) from accounts linked to the renowned crypto exchange FTX and its U.S. counterpart, FTX.US

by Faruk Imamovic
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The Crypto World Rocked - Inside FTX's Multi-Million Dollar Breach
© Getty Images News/Michael M. Santiago

A significant exploit stood out today, one involving the theft of a staggering 175,496 ETH (approximately $294 million) from accounts linked to the renowned crypto exchange FTX and its U.S. counterpart, FTX.US. This incident, which took place on November 11, 2022, came mere hours after FTX had declared bankruptcy under Chapter 11.

The Immediate Aftermath of the Hack

In the chaotic hours that followed the breach, FTX's general counsel, Ryne Miller, rushed to inform their trading community about the hack's occurrence, explicitly warning them of the potential security risks.

In a cautionary announcement, Miller stated, “FTX has been hacked. Chat is open. Please don’t go to the FTX site, as it might download Trojans. Note that some funds were retrieved”. This grave event went on to dominate crypto headlines, with traders and analysts desperately seeking answers.

Emerging Movements and Discoveries The assailant remained dormant for almost ten months after the attack, likely assessing the best possible strategy to extract the stolen funds without being traced. According to data insights from Spot On Chain, this silence was broken between September 30 and October 1, when a notable transfer of 10,250 ETH, equivalent to $17.1 million, was made via four different addresses.

As the days progressed, further investigations revealed that the total ETH in the exploiter's arsenal had dwindled from the initial 175,496 ETH ($294 million) to a current balance of $196.014 million. From September 30 onwards, a total of 67,500 ETH was methodically siphoned from five of the 15 wallet addresses connected to the FTX assailant.

Delving deeper into these transactions, a bulk of this - 64,948 ETH ($108 million) - was routed through the THORchain router. Additionally, 52 ETH ($84,000) found its way to the Railgun contract, and 2,500 ETH ($4.19 million) was ingeniously converted to Bitcoin, specifically tBTC.

Legal Ramifications: The Trial of SBF Coinciding with these events, the trial of the entrepreneur known as SBF began on October 3, drawing massive media attention. SBF, implicated in connection with FTX's fall, vehemently denied all allegations, pleading not guilty to all seven counts, which include grave charges of fraud and money laundering.

As the crypto community watches closely, this unfolding saga serves as a cautionary tale about the importance of stringent security protocols in a digital age of immense wealth and potential vulnerabilities.

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