HTX Hacker Stole $13.6M from Exchange Hot Wallet

HTX Hacker Stole $13.6M from Exchange Hot Wallet

| Updated
by Tolu Ajiboye · 3 min read
HTX Hacker Stole $13.6M from Exchange Hot Wallet
Photo: Unsplash

Additional details have revealed that the HTX hacker stole over $13 million from hot wallets, swapped to ETH, and then distributed the funds.

The HTX exchange lost $13.6 million to hackers as part of the $86 million hack of the HECO Chain bridge on Wednesday. According to security platform Cyvers, three HTX Global wallets were compromised by the hackers, who also swapped assets for Ether (ETH). The hacker then scattered the ETH across multiple addresses. Cyvers noted that the HTX hacker first received 1,240 ETH, over $2.5 million, from the wallet. Subsequently, the hacker received several deposits of USDT, USDC, and LINK, from hot wallets belonging to Huobi Global.

Cyvers reported the breach on Wednesday, calling attention to a hacker moving 10,145 ETH from the HECO Chain bridge, and stated the total amount was $85 million. However, Cyvers CTO and founder said in an X post that the entire loss was $100 million. The hack happened on the HECO Chain bridge, a multi-network bridge involving the greater Tron and BitTorrent ecosystem.

PeckShield, a blockchain security service, also revealed a suspicious ETH withdrawal, the same transaction Cyvers called attention to. The security platform added other details, detailing $86.6 million in TUSD, SHIB, SUNI, ETH, USDT, and LINK.

According to HTX advisor Justin Sun, the exchange will fully compensate for the hot wallet losses. He also announced that all HTX funds are secure and that an investigation is in full swing. However, HTX paused all deposits and withdrawals to identify the problem, promising to resume services when investigations are over.

Previous HTX Exploit Saw Hacker Steal $8 Million

HTX was breached back in September when a hacker drained 5,000 ETH, about $8 million at the time. Similarly, Sun announced that the company would cover the losses and resolve all issues. He offered a 5% white hat reward to the hacker if they agree to return the funds within 7 days. The hacker eventually did, and received a 250 ETH payment from the company. This hack happened shortly after the exchange was rebranded to HTX from Huobi Global.

On the first weekend in August, Huobi lost a whopping $64 million to exchange outflows, resulting in a reduced total value locked (TVL) on the platform. The loss happened between the 5th and 6th of August, with Huobi’s TVL falling from $3.09 billion to $2.5 billion by July 6.

The outflows happened mainly because of fears that the company could become insolvent. Rumors had spread that some of the exchange’s leaders were involved in gambling in China and were arrested after an investigation. Other rumors had it that the company’s executives had been resigning their positions for a few weeks. The exchange has since denied the stories.

Unfortunately, analyst Adam Cochran believes the exchange might not be as financially stable as presented. According to Cochran, there is quite the difference between the exchange’s accounts and what users believe. Cochran found that users believe funds in USDT equal $631 million when the actual figure is $90 million. The analyst also suggested Sun might be diverting funds to his DeFi applications. In addition, Cochran says the HTX advisor converted users’ ETH to stETH. However, records only show about half of the total amount (141,000 ETH) in Sun’s accounts.

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