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Crypto Shock: Orbit Bridge Hit with $82 Million Hack – A Deep Dive into the First Cyberattack of 2024


  • The Orbit Bridge, a bridging service for the Orbit Chain protocol, experienced an $82 million hack.

  • Detected on the last day of 2023 by crypto detective Kgjr, who noticed large withdrawals.

  • Arkham Intelligence reveals the hack involved five transactions, siphoning off assets including Tether, USD Coin, DAI, Ethereum, and Wrapped Bitcoin.

  • Initial theory suggests the hacker gained access to approval from seven out of ten multi-signature signers.

  • The Orbit Bridge is temporarily shut down post-incident, and an official statement is pending.

  • The hack underscores security challenges in the crypto industry, emphasizing the need to strengthen smart contracts and address potential vulnerabilities.

In a disconcerting beginning to the new year, the Orbit Bridge, a bridging service for the Orbit Chain protocol, has been hit by a significant hack. The hacking incident marks the first such instance of a cyber-attack on a crypto protocol in 2024. This unfortunate event sends shockwaves throughout the crypto community, casting a shadow of doubt over the security measures in place at the Orbit Chain protocol.

A New Year Marred by Cybercrime

On the last day of 2023, a well-known crypto detective, Kgjr, noticed and began to spread the word about a hack affecting the Orbit Bridge. The vigilant community member brought to light a series of unusually large withdrawals from the Orbit Chain Bridge protocol. In total, this calculated to a staggering $82 million - a financial hit that sent ripples of concern throughout the cryptocurrency world.

Breaking Down the Hack

Arkham Intelligence, a renowned blockchain analytics platform, provides a more granular view of the transactions involved in this large-scale hack. According to their data, the cybercriminal executed five distinct transactions, each directed towards a new digital wallet. The siphoned-off assets included $30 million in Tether (USDT), $10 million in USD Coin (USDC), $10 million in DAI, as well as 9500 Ethereum (ETH) valued at $22 million, and 231 Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) estimated at $10 million.

Behind the Scenes of the Heist 

While the exact technical aspects of the hack are still under investigation, an initial theory has been put forward. According to Crypto Sleuth Officer CIA, it is thought that the hacker may have managed to gain access to the approval of seven out of the ten multi-signature signers involved in the transactions. This would have allowed them to carry out the large-scale heist successfully.

In the aftermath of the event, the Orbit Bridge has been temporarily shut down, halting all transactions. Given the magnitude of the security breach, the protocol has yet to issue an official statement regarding the incident.

The Wider Implications 

This incident not only marked the first hack of 2024 but also highlighted the challenges faced by the crypto industry in terms of security. Despite Orbit Chain's relatively low popularity within the sector, it was still targeted by cybercriminals, emphasizing the importance of strengthening smart contracts against potential vulnerabilities. This incident underlines the urgent need to address potential backdoors that can be exploited by malicious actors, further underscoring the importance of robust security measures in the world of cryptocurrencies. 

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