In the ever-evolving landscape of cryptocurrencies, Poloniex has become the latest target of hackers who successfully emptied its hot wallets, resulting in an estimated loss of around $114 million, as indicated by various on-chain data sources.
Suspicions of the attack arose around 10:55 UTC, with blockchain security firms PeckShield and Cyvers flagging unusual activities. Shortly after, Poloniex issued an urgent statement, announcing the temporary deactivation of its wallet for maintenance. Poloniex investor Justin Sun confirmed the incident through a tweet a mere twelve minutes after its detection.
Investigations reveal that multiple wallets across different blockchains were the focal point of this criminal act. Arkham's data suggests that an Ethereum wallet, now labeled as the "Poloniex hacker," conducted a total of 357 transactions, moving a substantial amount of $114 million in Poloniex tokens. Simultaneously, a wallet on the Tron blockchain transferred approximately $42 million to various recipients.
Attacks on cryptocurrency exchanges have sadly become commonplace. Just two months ago, HTX fell victim to an attack resulting in a total loss of $8 million in ether (ETH). In April, the South Korean exchange Gdac incurred a loss of $13 million, while last November, Deribit lost a significant $28 million in a hot wallet breach.
In addition to the suspicious transactions, on-chain data also reveals that the Poloniex hacker invested heavily, purchasing $20 million worth of tron (TRX), causing the token's price to surge by over 25%.
"We are currently investigating the Poloniex hack incident," stated Sun in his tweet. "Poloniex maintains a strong financial position and is committed to fully reimbursing the affected funds. Furthermore, we are exploring collaborations with other exchanges to expedite the recovery of these funds."
Sun added that the exchange is offering a 5% white hat bounty to the hacker, with a seven-day deadline before involving law enforcement.