• Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

Private Key Exploit: Bittensor Network Halts Operations

Steve Kornacki

BySteve Kornacki

Jul 3, 2024
Private Key Exploit: Bittensor Network Halts Operations

The Private Key Security Breach

Bittensor, a blockchain network renowned for its advanced AI-driven infrastructure, was forced to halt operations following a significant private key security breach. The attack, which resulted in the theft of digital assets worth at least $8 million, has raised substantial concerns about the security protocols within the cryptocurrency sector.

The breach was first identified by an on-chain investigator, ZachXBT, who alerted the community via a Telegram message. According to ZachXBT, the exploit involved the unauthorized access of a wallet, designated as “5FbW,” which held approximately 32,000 TAO tokens.

The attacker swiftly drained these tokens, valued at around $8 million. This attack follows a previous incident where a different wallet was compromised, resulting in a loss of $11.2 million worth of TAO tokens.

While discussing the breach via a social media update, Ala Shaabana, co-founder of Bittensor, assured the community that the attack had been contained and the network secured. Shaabana added that the team had placed the chain into safe mode, allowing block production but no transactions.

This breach adds to the crypto industry’s long list of security challenges. Since the inception of Bitcoin, the industry has witnessed nearly $19 billion in thefts, with 785 reported hacks.

Rising Private Key Crypto Theft

Recent reports indicate that private key leaks have become the predominant method of crypto theft, surpassing smart contract vulnerabilities. According to Merkle Science’s “2024 Crypto HackHub Report”, 55% of the cryptocurrency hacks last year were attributed to the compromise of private keys.

This shift is attributed to the perceived ease of targeting private keys through phishing attacks or exploiting insecure storage practices. Mriganka Pattnaik, co-founder and CEO of Merkle Science, noted that although vulnerabilities in smart contracts are still an issue, hackers are increasingly focusing on other areas, such as private keys.

In contrast, funds lost due to smart contract vulnerabilities decreased dramatically, falling 92% from $2.6 billion in 2022 to $179 million in 2023. This shift suggests that while the industry has made strides in smart contracts security, other areas of vulnerability, such as private key management, need more robust safeguards.

American Actress X Account Hacked for Crypto Scam

In a growing trend of cybercrimes targeting celebrities, American actress Sydney Sweeney’s social media account was recently compromised and used to promote a scam cryptocurrency. Hackers hijacked Sweeney’s X account to launch a cryptocurrency named after her, misleadingly claiming her endorsement.

Within two hours of its launch, the cryptocurrency garnered over $10 million in trading activity. However, DEX Screener statistics indicated that the token’s market cap dropped from its peak of $3.85 million to $1.2 million within an hour.

Additionally, the hackers utilized the account to announce a token burn and a giveaway, enticing unsuspecting followers to engage with the fraudulent asset. This incident is not Sweeney’s first encounter with cryptocurrency-related hacks. In January, her account was similarly breached to promote a Solana meme token.

A Growing List

The quick influx of trading activity demonstrates that these deceptive tactics continue to have a significant impact on many unsuspecting crypto investors. Sydney Sweeney joins a growing list of celebrities who are victims of similar cryptocurrency scams. Notable figures such as Hulk Hogan, 50 Cent, and the heavy metal band Metallica have also seen their social media accounts exploited to promote dubious cryptocurrencies, especially Pump.fun-generated Solana meme coins.

Steve Kornacki

Steve Kornacki

Steve Kornacki, a respected author at Big Trends Signals, uses his deep online trading acumen to create comprehensive guides and balanced reviews, empowering traders in their digital pursuits.

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