In the world of blockchain and crypto currencies, the technical vulnerabilities of certain protocols can quickly lead to major hacks. In February 2022, the bridge wormhole had been the victim. Nevertheless, a positive outcome has just taken place since the protocol has just announced that it has succeeded in recovering 140 million dollars.
As a reminder, The Wormhole had become at the beginning of 2022 one of the most used bridges in the ecosystem. Indeed, it easily allowed its users to link the then booming Solana blockchain to other blockchains including Ethereum and Avalanche.
However, hackers had managed to exploit a vulnerability in the smart contract of the bridge leading to the theft of more than 120,000 ETH either a total of around $325 million. While the hack was still very new, The Wormhole offered the hackers $10 million in Bounty in exchange for the stolen funds.
Remaining unanswered, this proposal had not been able to enable the protocol to deal with the financial consequences. Thus, it would have been necessary Jump’s intervention Crypto to bail out the bridge and allow it to continue operating on the blockchain.
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Funds stolen during The Wormhole hack have been recovered
This is the beautiful story of this beginning of the year, The Wormhole protocol managed to find a solution to recover much of the funds stolen during his hack last year. Thanks to the complicity of Oasis, a platform of Challengethe bridge developers were able to get their hands on the loot.
Concretely, Oasis explains that white hats have recently discovered a vulnerability in the design of their wallet’s multisig admin access. However, being aware of the presence of funds from The Wormhole hack on their protocol, Oasis spoke with Jump Crypto to take advantage of this vulnerability.
Thus, by exploiting the flaw present in their multisig system, Oasis was able to take control of the funds present on the attacker’s wallets and transfer the funds to a secure wallet.
THE assets are now in a wallet controlled by an authorized third party (Jump Crypto) by justice. Oasis does not retain any control or access to recovered assets.
What about the legality of such a move?
Although this news was a relief for a large part of the community, another part is alarmed by the potentially illegal and unethical illegitimate access to the wallet of an Oasis user – even if it is a hacker -.
However, in its press release, Oasis explains that “on February 21, 2023, we received an order from the High Court of England and Wales to take all necessary measures that would result in the recovery of certain assets involved in the wallet address associated with The Wormhole hack”.
Therefore “this operation was carried out in accordance with the requirements of the court order, as required by law, using the Oasis Multisig and a third party authorized by the court”. In fact, although the ethics of such an approach may be raised, the law has indeed been respected by Oasis.
Moreover, Oasis explains that it took advantage of the opportunity to analyze and take the necessary measures so that the detected vulnerability is not used in the future by malicious people.
In any case, The Wormhole managed to recover $140 million, and the hacker could quickly see the noose tighten around him now that justice has knowledge of some of his addresses. Case to follow.
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