Another blockchain cyber attack: HTX and Heco Bridge in trouble

4 views 7:33 am 0 Comments November 23, 2023

On Wednesday, cyber hackers targeted Heco Bridge infrastructure and the HTX exchange, resulting in a combined loss of $110m in cryptocurrency. These two entities are closely intertwined, with the Heco Bridge as the asset transfer bridge (a system connecting blockchains) to the Heco chain established by HTX.

Despite initially appearing as separate, coincidental attacks, both incidents were allegedly performed by the same party due to the similarity in exploitative techniques and the connection between both targets. In response to the security breach, HTX exchange has taken precautionary measures by temporarily suspending withdrawals from its platform.

Initial estimates from experts indicate that the hackers stole approximately 10.145 Ethereum (ETH) on the bridge alone, along with various other cryptocurrencies such as Tether (USDT), Huobi (HBTC), and others, totaling $86.84m. To avoid asset freezes by Tether, the stolen USDTs were swiftly exchanged for ETH, while the other coins were dispersed across multiple addresses, sometimes converted to ETH.

On X (formerly Twitter), TRON founder and advisor at HTX, Justin Sun, stated:

HTX and Heco Cross-Chain Bridge undergo attack. HTX will fully compensate for HTX’s hot wallet losses. Deposits and withdrawals are temporarily suspended.

The exploit was first identified and disclosed to the crypto community on platform X by Wintermute research chief Igor Igamberdiev and blockchain analysts with the username PeckShield. PeckShield highlighted the involvement of an operator, about whom little is known, suggesting a potential connection to the recent hack of the Poloniex exchange, which incurred losses of $125m a few days prior.