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Hackers exploit Nomad bridge and steal nearly $200 million
Hackers exploit Nomad bridge and steal nearly $200 million
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Hackers exploit Nomad bridge and steal nearly $200 million

By Patryk Karter - 2 Aug 2022

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Yet another exploit has been found by hackers, this time draining nearly $200 million from the cross-chain bridge Nomad.

Nomad bridge suffers hacker attack

Nomad is a cross-chain bridge solution that allows moving tokens between different blockchains by wrapping them via smart contracts.

Unfortunately for them and the many users affected, someone was able to find an exploit and use it to their advantage to drain around $190 million dollars

Nomad’s Twitter account tweeted the following:

“We are aware of the incident involving the Nomad token bridge. We are currently investigating and will provide updates when we have them”.

The assets affected include wrapped versions of Bitcoin, Ethereum and several stablecoins like USDT and USDC, all of which were being used cross-chain between different blockchains, including Ethereum, Avalanche and Cardano.

To learn more and delve into the behind-the-scenes of the hack, here’s a detailed breakdown by Twitter user samczsun:

Nomad claimed to be security-first and had also recently raised $22.4 million in a seed round led by Polychain Capital, bringing the valuation of the Nomad company to $225 million.

Cross-contamination affects Cardano users

Bridges between different blockchains have been the favourite target of hackers due to the many vulnerabilities that can arise if smart contracts haven’t been thoroughly checked for weak points.

The Nomad bridge was one of the first cross-chain solutions that brought wrapped versions of Bitcoin, Ether and stablecoins to the Cardano ecosystem. These assets were available on WingRiders for example, a DEX on Cardano that allowed yield farming via liquidity pools using these assets.

Here’s what WingRiders had to say about the unfortunate event:

“Riders, a very sad day for Cardano. Nomad Bridge exploits led to a lot of consequences.

Your Cardano Assets and WRT tokens on WingRiders are safe! The platform and the smart contracts are not technically impacted.

Bridged assets madUSDC,  madUSDT, madBTC,  madETH are impacted!”

The Milkomeda EVM Layer 2 Protocol that has launched on Cardano also commented on the Nomad bridge exploit:

“We are aware of the Nomad exploit. Unfortunately, we can’t control what happens to other projects. This does not affect the base Milkomeda protocol, but Nomad is one of multiple bridges deployed to Milkomeda so users of Nomad-based assets on Milkomeda & Cardano are affected”.

On the positive side, Milkomeda has recently reported 7,485,720 transactions and 96,026 wallets since launch.

Conclusion

With every hack in the crypto sector, we are being reminded about the risks involved in this nascent space. The famous “Move Fast and Break Things” motto echoed by Mark Zuckerberg in relation to building software and apps cannot be applied in blockchain development because there are millions if not billions of dollars on the line.

There’s a need for a scientific approach that utilizes the peer-review process to make sure that the protocols and smart contracts don’t have any vulnerabilities, bugs or exploits. If this means slowing down the development in order to keep users’ funds safe, then be it. Better to be safe than sorry.

Patryk Karter

Passionate about new technologies, nutrition, and philosophy, Patryk spends his days exploring the infinite universe of the web. He moved to London after living most of his life in Rome. He starts studying Computer Science at King's College of London but soon understands that it is not his path, instead he decides to invest his time and money in blockchain technology and in the meantime takes university courses available on the web. Now he is a trader and works as a freelancer.

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