Hackers appear to be having a field day in the crypto industry as news of their exploits continues to make headlines in the digital asset space. The Harmony Protocol is the latest to become a victim of malicious attackers.
According to reports, the network suffered a hacking attack which saw it lose $100 million in assets in the incident. Since then, Harmony has announced a bounty of $1 million on the attackers as a reward should they return the loot.
However, all indications show that the hackers are not interested in Harmony’s bounty offer as they intend to move the stolen funds.
According to reports from the crypto tracking platform @PeckShieldAlert, the hackers have begun laundering the looted funds using Tornado Cash.
Using a decentralized cash mixing platform, the attacker intends to hide the trails of the fund’s movement. And Tornado Cash offers the perfect opportunity to conceal the transaction movement, making it difficult to track the transactions.
How the Funds are Laundered
The tracking platform revealed on June 28 that 18,036.3 ETH, equivalent to $21 million, were moved out of the exploiters’ wallets on the Horizon Bridge. The funds were divided into three to be transferred to different addresses in the next couple of hours.
However, mixing a huge stash of tokens usually takes hours, so Tornado Cash will only be able to mix about 100 ETH. The expected time to conclude the mixing and transfer will be close to 10 hours.
For emphasis, the main aim of mixing Ethereum is to hide the transaction path of tokens, making it difficult to track their original transactions.
Meanwhile, the accounts that received the RTH from the hacker’s main address have completed the fund’s mixup and currently hold 16.3 ETH. This is to divert attention away from other places. In addition, making a trace of looted funds that passed through the Tornado Cash ecosystem is cumbersome.
At press time, the third wallet is actively moving 100 ETH in batches to Tornado Cash. The remaining coins in the wallet are only 2,800.
Hackers continuously use Tornado Cash to hide stolen funds and make tracking difficult. However, the only solution here is to find the best possible ways to reduce the frequency of its occurrence.
Is Harmony Protocol Taking Any Action?
According to the Harming team, the network is teaming up with two expert blockchain tracking agencies to investigate the incident. The project also revealed that it had solicited help from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to recover its stolen assets quickly.
Moreover, the Harmony team announced on Twitter that it knows the fund’s movement and will do everything possible to get the hackers.
Meanwhile, about $80 million worth of ETH is still sitting on the top wallet of the exploiter. It even took the hacker about 13 hours to mix $21 million worth of ETH. The attackers might need to take a break or return the rest of the stolen funds to Harmony.