Orbit Chain hacker moves $48M to Tornado Cash after months of ‘silence’


The exploiter behind the $82 million Orbit Chain hack over New Year’s Eve has moved $47.7 million to cryptocurrency privacy mixer Tornado Cash after five months of “silence.”

A total of 12,932 Ether (ETH) — worth $47.7 million — was moved across seven transactions on June 8, to a new address, which sent the funds to crypto mixer Tornado Cash, according to blockchain analytics firm Arkham Intelligence.

Transfers made by the Orbit Chain hacker on June 8. Source: Arkham Intelligence

It was widely reported that the exploit caused $82 million in losses but Arkham’s recent posts suggest it was closer to $100 million.

“They stole over $100M in ETH and DAI from Orbit Chain 5 months ago, and have been silent since,” Arkham — one of the first firms to spot the transfer — said in a June 8 X post.

The $47.7 million in Ether sent through Tornado Cash were mostly in batches of 100 ETH, Etherscan data shows.

The hacker didn’t move the $20 million in Dai (DAI) stolen or any other coins extracted from the cross-chain bridge.

Their balance now stands at $71.2 million, including $51.1 million in Ether and small amounts of wrapped-Bitcoin (wBTC), wrapped-Ether (wETH), Orbit Chain (ORC) and USD Coin (USDC).

Source: Arkham Intelligence

The hack occurred in the final hours of 2023 at about 8:52 pm UTC on Dec. 31, 2023.

Orbit Chain confirmed the exploit the following day and said it was “actively engaging” with international law enforcement agencies.

“Those who provide decisive intelligence that leads to identifying the attacker or recovering stolen assets will receive the bounty,” Orbit Chain’s X account said on Jan. 11.

“As a maximum reward, we are offering $8M USD.”

Related: $20M exploit cripples Sonne Finance, hacker in no mood for negotiation

Orbit Chain implements the Inter-Blockchain Communication Protocol to transfer data and value throughout the Cosmos ecosystem.

There is nearly $37 million in total value locked on the chain, according to DefiLlama.

However, that figure is down over 75% from the $149.25 in value locked on the protocol hours before the Dec. 31 hack.

It reached a peak of $313 million in August 2022.

Total value locked on the Orbit Bridge since August 2022. Source: DeFiLlama

Hackers stole $542.7 million in cryptocurrencies in the first quarter of 2024, a 42% increase from the same period in 2023.

Interestingly, smart contract hacks fell 92% to $179 million in 2023, down from a staggering $2.6 billion in 2022.

Magazine: DeFi’s billion-dollar secret: The insiders responsible for hacks