Coordinated Cyber Attacks Target Heco Bridge and HTX Exchange, Resulting in $110 Million Cryptocurrency Loss Nov 23, 2023 Nov 23, 2023 Kelly Cromley http://1AZFjzw2#Nwf63pYaMWq#xIY
Market NewsNovember 23, 2023 by Kelly Cromley

Coordinated Cyber Attacks Target Heco Bridge and HTX Exchange, Resulting in $110 Million Cryptocurrency Loss

In a recent cybersecurity incident, malicious actors targeted the Heco Bridge infrastructure and the HTX exchange, causing a substantial combined loss of $110 million in cryptocurrency. The interconnected nature of these entities, with Heco Bridge serving as the asset transfer bridge to the Heco chain established by HTX, suggests a coordinated effort by the attackers.

 

Coordinated Exploitation:

Although initially appearing as separate incidents, evidence suggests that both the attacks on Heco Bridge and the HTX exchange were orchestrated by the same threat actor. The similarity in exploitative techniques and the inherent connection between the two targets point to a coordinated and strategic assault. In response to the security breach, the HTX exchange has implemented precautionary measures, including the temporary suspension of withdrawals from its platform.

 

Financial Impact:

Preliminary assessments by cybersecurity experts estimate that the hackers successfully absconded with approximately 10.145 Ethereum (ETH) from the Heco Bridge alone. Additionally, various other cryptocurrencies such as Tether (USDT) and Huobi (HBTC) were compromised, resulting in an overall loss of $86.84 million. To evade potential asset freezes by Tether, the stolen USDTs were promptly exchanged for ETH, while other pilfered coins were dispersed across multiple addresses, at times being converted to ETH.

 

Immediate Response by HTX Exchange:

In response to the security incident, Justin Sun, the founder of TRON and an advisor at HTX, conveyed on social media platform X that both HTX and Heco Cross-Chain Bridge had fallen victim to the attack. He assured the community that HTX would fully compensate for the losses incurred in its hot wallet. As a precautionary measure, the exchange has temporarily suspended both deposits and withdrawals.

 

Identification and Disclosure:

The exploit came to light when Wintermute research chief Igor Igamberdiev and blockchain analysts, operating under the username PeckShield, identified and disclosed the attack on platform X. PeckShield highlighted the involvement of an operator, whose identity remains largely unknown. There are indications of a potential link to the recent hack of the Poloniex exchange, which experienced losses of $125 million just days before this incident.

 

Conclusion:

The coordinated cyber attacks on Heco Bridge and the HTX exchange have underscored the vulnerabilities in cryptocurrency infrastructure. As investigations unfold, the cryptocurrency community awaits further details on the identity of the threat actor and the potential connections to previous attacks. The significant financial losses incurred serve as a stark reminder of the ongoing challenges in securing digital assets in the evolving landscape of cyber threats.

AuthorKelly Cromley

Kelly is our in house crytpto researcher, delving into the stories which matter from blockchains being used in the real world to new ico coming out.