Orbit Chain Exploiter Moves $47.7M to Tornado Cash After Months of Inactivity

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The elusive hacker behind the $82 million Orbit Chain heist over New Year’s Eve has resurfaced, transferring a significant portion of the stolen funds to the cryptocurrency privacy mixer Tornado Cash. After five months of inactivity, the hacker moved $47.7 million worth of Ether (ETH) on June 8, according to blockchain analytics firm Arkham Intelligence.

Hacker Moves 12.9K ETH from Orbit Chain Hack 

The transactions involved 12,932 ETH, which were sent to a new address and subsequently funneled through Tornado Cash in seven transactions. Arkham Intelligence, one of the first firms to detect the transfer, revealed this information in a post on X (formerly known as Twitter) on June 8. The Ether was primarily transferred in batches of 100 ETH, as evidenced by Etherscan data.

While the initial reports estimated the exploit caused $82 million in losses, Arkham’s recent analysis suggests the actual figure is closer to $100 million. 

“They stole over $100M in ETH and DAI from Orbit Chain 5 months ago and have been silent since,” Arkham stated in their post.

Hacker Hasn’t Touched $20M in Dai (DAI)

Despite the substantial movement of funds, the hacker has yet to touch the $20 million in Dai (DAI) or any other stolen assets. The current balance of the hacker’s address stands at $71.2 million, including $51.1 million in Ether and smaller amounts of wrapped-Bitcoin (wBTC), wrapped-Ether (wETH), Orbit Chain (ORC), and USD Coin (USDC).

The hack, which took place on December 31, 2023, at approximately 8:52 pm UTC, marked a devastating end to the year for Orbit Chain. The following day, Orbit Chain confirmed the exploit and announced it was working with international law enforcement agencies to track down the attacker. In a statement on January 11, Orbit Chain offered a bounty of up to $8 million for information leading to the identification or capture of the hacker and the recovery of the stolen assets.

Orbit Chain Hack

Orbit Chain, which utilizes the Inter-Blockchain Communication Protocol to facilitate data and value transfers across the Cosmos ecosystem, has seen a significant decline in its total value locked (TVL) since the hack. According to DefiLlama, the chain now holds nearly $37 million in TVL, a sharp drop of over 75% from the $149.25 million recorded just before the hack. The TVL had peaked at $313 million in August 2022.

The broader cryptocurrency landscape has also experienced notable changes in security dynamics. In the first quarter of 2024 alone, hackers stole $542.7 million in cryptocurrencies, marking a 42% increase from the same period in 2023. However, smart contract hacks have dramatically decreased, with losses falling 92% to $179 million in 2023 from a staggering $2.6 billion in 2022.

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