The Ronin network, used for the online game “Axie Infinity”, was the victim of a major hack on March 23rd. The hackers stole a large stock of cryptocurrencies , for an estimated amount of around $600 million.
The thieves walked away with 173,699 Ethereum and 22.5 million USDC. This represents 615 million dollars at current cryptocurrency prices (545 million on the day of the attack). “We are working with authorities, cryptographers and our investors to ensure that all funds are recovered or refunded,” the network manager said.
Cryptocurrency, blockchain and NFT
This is one of the biggest computer attacks targeting cryptocurrencies. In August 2021, an “ethical hacker” stole $600 million from the Poly Network platform before returning it a few days later. The United States recently recovered the equivalent of $3.6 billion in bitcoins stolen in 2016 from Bitfinex. They were worth around $71 million at the time.
The Sky Mavis team, publisher of “Axie Infinity”, discovered the security flaw on Tuesday, after being notified by a user who could no longer withdraw his ethereums. The investigation is ongoing but the hacker apparently used private “keys” (passwords) to access the digital funds, according to Ronin.
“Axie Infinity” is a blockchain-based game that earns money in the form of NFTs . One can participate in battles between Axies (the names of the characters) and earn “Smooth Love Potion” (SLP), which can then be exchanged for money or reinvested in the game.