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Wintermute loses $162 million in DeFi hack

A vulnerability in the vanity address generator Profanity led to the attack

binary on a screen with words 'hacking attack'

Global crypto market maker Wintermute revealed it has lost $162.2 million in DeFi operations.

The digital assets trading firm reportedly serves over fifty cryptocurrency exchanges and trading platforms, including Binance, Coinbase, Kraken, and Bitfinex.

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Responding to the hack, CEO Evgeny Gaevoy stated the company is “willing to treat the security incident as a ‘white hat’ event”, indicating an assured bounty for the hacker who successfully exploited the vulnerability without any legal repercussions. 

The hacker, as matters stand, has not yet revealed plans to return the stolen funds to Wintermute. 

Meanwhile, Gaevoy affirmed that Wintermute’s CeFi (centralized finance) and OTC (over-the-counter) operations remain unaffected by the security breach. To alleviate investor anxiety, Gaevoy revealed lenders can opt to recall loans if they wanted to.

Based on the information available, it appears that the attacker likely exploited a bug in Profanity, a vanity address generator for Ethereum.

In response to the recent revelations, Profanity's author took down all binaries and archived the project's GitHub repository.

“The hacker’s wallet currently holds roughly $47,7 million worth of digital assets. The rest of the money has been moved to Curve Finance’s ‘3CRV’ liquidity pool, where the tokens will be hard to distinguish and freeze,” reported Bleeping Computer.

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