On January 31, an unknown group hacked the personal wallet of the co-founder of the fintech Ripple, stealing more than $120 million. On February 1st, on the other hand, Binance, the well-known cryptocurrency exchange froze $4.2 million worth of XRP in the account of a hacker who hacked the personal wallet of Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen. The new CEO of the trading platform, Richard Teng, wrote about this on X (formerly Twitter).
We appreciate both the communities efforts in flagging it to exchanges – as always @zachxbt…
— Richard Teng (@_RichardTeng) February 1, 2024
Interesting Turn of Events
As it turned out, the first to investigate the incident were the developers of XRP Ledger, who support the entire ecosystem of the project. This was said by the head of the project’s analytics department, Thomas Silker, in response to a post by the CEO of Binance, who did not mention such a detail.
“We will continue to support Ripple in their investigations and recovery efforts, including closely monitoring the majority of funds still in the operator’s external wallets in case they are withdrawn to Binance,” the crypto exchange CEO added.
Initially, on January 31, ZachXBT wrote that hackers allegedly hacked Ripple and stole 213 million XRP ($112 million).
However, this was followed by a message from Larsen, who stated that his personal accounts, not the companies, were under attack. It was an on-chain detective well-known in the crypto community who, during his own investigation, found the address of the attacker. Thanks to this, Binance was able to freeze the stolen funds on it.
Hackers Laundered Money through Multiple Centralized Platforms Including Binance
In order to hide his identity, the attacker did not use cryptomixers or decentralized exchanges (DEX). Instead, he laundered funds through centralized platforms including Binance, MEXC, Gate.io, Kraken, OKX, HTX and HitBTC. Apart from Binance, none of the platforms mentioned have yet shared information regarding the identification or freezing of funds associated with the hack.
Previously, unknown people tried to hack the $15 billion Bitfinex crypto exchange using the partial payments function in XRP tokens. Blockchain security experts noticed an unusual transaction of 25.6 billion XRP.
Crypto Wallets are in Danger
Specialists from Kaspersky Labs spoke about new malicious software for stealing access to crypto wallets. They found a pirated program for the macOS system, with the help of which hackers gain access to the user’s computer password, and subsequently to all data.
Also, analysts this week summed up the results of January. Thus, as a result of hacker attacks in the first month of 2024, decentralized projects lost a total of $38.9 million. The largest hack was the exploit of the gaming platform on Polygon – GAMEE. The attackers stole more than $7 million.