RHO Markets lending protocol loses $7.6 million to apparent whitehat

An apparent misconfiguration by the RHO Markets lending protocol allowed operators of an MEV bot to take $7.6 million from the project's users across multiple chains.

In a stroke of luck for the RHO team, the MEV bot operator sent RHO an on-chain message indicating they were willing to return all of the funds, although they first demanded that RHO "admit that it was not an exploit or a hack, but a misconfiguration on your end. Also, please provide what you are going to do to prevent it from happening again."

RHO is built on the Scroll Ethereum layer-2 network. Scroll temporarily paused the chain as RHO investigated the loss.

WazirX exchange hacked for $235 million

After a $230 million "suspicious transfer", Indian cryptocurrency exchange WazirX has paused withdrawals and acknowledged that one of their multisignature wallets was compromised. The attacker began selling off the tokens, causing the price of tokens like Shiba Inu to drop around 10%.

WazirX is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in India. The company was acquired by Binance in 2019, but the two companies re-separated in 2023 after a bizarre public dispute.

WazirX's June 2024 proof-of-reserves reported around $500 million in total holdings, making the $235 million theft a substantial portion of the assets held at the exchange.

Blockchain sleuth zachxbt observed that the theft had some of the hallmarks of the Lazarus Group, a North Korean hacking group that has perpetrated other 9-figure heists including the $625 million Axie Infinity theft in March 2022, and the theft of more than $100 million from Atomic Wallet users.

Trip.com accused of "rug pull" as it shuts down its Trekki NFTs

An illustration of a bright blue cartoon dolphin, wearing a safari hat and vest, holding a cameraTrekki NFT (attribution)
Travel company Trip.com has some perturbed crypto holders on its hands, after shutting down the "Trekki" NFT project it launched in June 2023. The company's dolphin-themed NFTs had come with a roadmap that promised eventual staking features, "travel to grow" and "travel to earn" mechanisms, and other developments, which have been cancelled. However, Trip.com promised that its discount coupon functionality would remain.

"Can't believe @Trip a multibillion company is also a rugged project," wrote one person in response to the shutdown announcement.

Users of LI.FI protocol suffer losses of at least $10 million

Users of the cross-chain swapping API LI.FI Protocol, and of projects that build on top of it, suffered wallet drains amounting to at least $10 million (and counting). An attacker was able to exploit the users who had set infinite approvals. The protocol urged those who had interacted with several affected smart contracts to revoke permission, and warned: "Please do not interact with any LI.FI powered applications for now!"

Three arrests made in relation to Metamax pyramid scheme

Three people have been arrested in connection to a crypto pyramid scheme called Metamax. Those behind the scam promised that people who invested in the scam could then earn income of up to $400 a day simply by watching, sharing, liking, and reviewing videos. There was, of course, a referral component as well, where people earned commission on the "investments" of people they referred. And for people who chose to invest in one of Metamax's fixed investment plans, they were promised 1.5% daily returns.

Unsurprisingly, the project turned out to be a pyramid scheme. On June 25, the Philippines SEC issued a warning, noting that the project was not registered with them, and that it "has the characteristics of a 'Ponzi scheme'". Shortly afterwards, Metamax deleted their Twitter account, and shut down victims' online access to their accounts.

Local news estimated that the scheme affected around 15,000 victims, mainly in Cyprus and Greece. Three people have been arrested in connection to the scheme, including a retired Cypriot police officer. One of the suspects turned himself in to police, claiming that he himself was a victim of the scam, and that he believed his life was in danger as he was being threatened by Metamax victims. Days later, a bomb was detonated near a home he once rented.

Minterest hacked for $1.4 million

An attacker stole $1.4 million from the defi lending project Minterest. Using a flash loan attack, they manipulated the exchange rate calculated by the project, allowing them to withdraw more tokens than they originally loaned.

Minterest paused the supply and borrow portions of their protocol after the attack, and attempted to contact the attacker to negotiate a return of some of the funds.

Dough Finance hacked for $1.9 million

Defi platform Dough Finance was hacked for 608 ETH ($1.8 million) by a hacker using a flash loan attack funded through the Railgun privacy service.

Dough Finance sent an on-chain message to the attacker, asking them to return the "misappropriated funds", threatening that they would "pursue all criminal, legal, and administrative avenues available" in the event that the attacker did not do so.

Popular defi protocol websites replaced with wallet drainers amid mass Squarespace domain hijacking

Websites providing the frontends for some popular defi services, including Compound Finance, were compromised and replaced with wallet drainers: websites resembling the usual frontend, but which drain unsuspecting users' wallets when used.

Somewhat ironically, the "Unstoppable Domains" web3 domain service was also impacted, and their site was offline for a while before they regained control.

The hijacking appears to be thanks to an attack on Squarespace's domain registry. Crypto founder Bobby Ong has suggested that the attack is affecting domains acquired through Google Domains, which sold its business to Squarespace several months ago. "Tthe forced migration of domains to Squarespace removed 2FA causing all these domains to be vulnerable and several have been hijacked," he wrote. "Best thing to do is to not interact with crypto and rest for the next couple of days until everything is resolved."

Web2 is going just great!

Doja Cat's Twitter account hacked to promote meme token

Tweet by Doja Cat: "buy $DOJA or else" followed by a Solana address. There's a photo of her brandishing a toy scimitar and she's wearing a chainmail hood.Tweet from Doja Cat's hacked account (attribution)
The Twitter account belonging to rapper Doja Cat was compromised on July 8, tweeting to her 5.6 million followers that they should "buy $DOJA or else", and various other messages to that effect. Doja Cat quickly posted on her Instagram account to say that the Twitter account had been compromised.

The attacker appeared to have only marginal success, as the token reached a market cap of around $500,000 before collapsing by 96%.

Hackers have compromised a string of celebrity Twitter accounts to promote memecoins recently, including those of Hulk Hogan and Metallica.

Bittensor wallets drained

Some users of the Bittensor wallet software suffered wallet drains as thieves emptied their cryptocurrency wallets of the project’s TAO token. Around 32,000 TAO, notionally worth around $8 million, was siphoned. Although blockchain sleuth zachxbt hypothesized that the attack may have been thanks to a private key leak, Bittensor later claimed that affected users had in fact been compromised by a malicious Bittensor package that had been uploaded to Python's PyPi package manager. It's not yet clear how the malicious package made it onto the package manager.

Bittensor is among the artificial intelligence-focused cryptocurrency projects that have become popular recently amid the AI hype. Although the project website boasts that "Bittensor is creating a new future for humanity, where new economies and new commodities are decentralized by design and where no single entity is a sole authority," the group unilaterally halted the chain in the wake of the attack.

Silvergate Bank pays $63 million to settle charges from multiple agencies

More than a year after the crypto-friendly Silvergate Bank collapsed, its parent company has agreed to pay $63 million in fines to the Federal Reserve and California Department of Financial Protection and the Innovation. The SEC also imposed a $50 million fine, though the terms of the settlement noted this "may be offset" by the other penalties.

According to the regulators, Silvergate "had serious deficiencies" in its anti-money laundering programs, including in its intra-customer crypto transfer product. In particular, the SEC highlighted $9 billion in suspicious transfers among FTX entities that should have been detected by compliance programs. The SEC also alleged that Silvergate misrepresented its financial state during the post-FTX collapse bank run.

Yield App declares insolvency, citing FTX losses

Yield App, a crypto investment platform, has announced that it will be entering liquidation proceedings. Citing "significant financial challenges", the project announced that the platform would be suspended pending liquidation.

In the immediate aftermath of the FTX collapse in November 2022, Yield App CEO Tim Frost had assured customers that "Yield App has no exposure to Alameda or the FTT token, and no signifiant exposure to FTX". However, Yield is now — going on two years after the FTX collapse — claiming to be suing "several hedge funds" that had lost money on FTX.

SEC sues Consensys, maker of MetaMask wallet

As expected, the SEC has filed a lawsuit against Consensys, the maker of the popular MetaMask cryptocurrency wallet. Although Consensys had recently gloated about the SEC completing an investigation into the company's offering of ETH, and determining not to pursue action over it, a Wells notice sent to the firm in April suggested that some legal action was impending. Shortly afterwards, Consensys filed a lawsuit against the SEC, alleging regulatory overreach.

The SEC's lawsuit claims that Consensys violated securities laws by acting as an unregistered securities broker, and by offering staking services that constituted unregistered securities offerings. The SEC has previously cracked down on staking offerings by other firms, including Coinbase and Kraken.

Logan Paul files defamation lawsuit over Coffeezilla's coverage of his failed CryptoZoo project

Logan PaulLogan Paul (attribution)
A year and a half after threatening to sue YouTuber Coffeezilla for his series of videos exposing influencer Logan Paul's (alleged) role in (allegedly) scamming his large following with a failed blockchain game, Paul has followed through on the threat. Although he acknowledges in the lawsuit that the project was definitely a scam, Paul says that he too was duped by several "conmen" who he'd brought on as advisers.

In the lawsuit, Paul claims that Coffeezilla knowingly falsely accused Paul of being in on the scam in hopes of getting more attention on his videos. Paul is seeking more than $75,000 in damages.

In January 2024, Paul filed suit against the advisers he's described as "conmen". He's also pointed the finger at them while defending a potential class action complaint from defrauded investors.

FBI busts group of crypto-seeking home invaders

The Department of Justice busted a group of more than a dozen people, led by a 24-year-old man named Remy St. Felix, who perpetrated a string of break-ins and violent assaults in hopes of obtaining their victims' cryptocurrency holdings. The group seems to have been far more successful with their hacking thefts than with their in-person attempts to obtain cryptocurrency, but that didn't stop them from committing a string of eleven break-ins where they assaulted, threatened, and kidnapped victims.

In one case, a victim was able to transfer $150,000 in cryptocurrency to the attackers before their cryptocurrency exchange blocked the suspicious transfers. However, in their other attempts to physically steal crypto, they were unsuccessful, with victims either refusing to hand over their crypto or successfully escaping.

In one case, St. Felix and his associates targeted a woman from whom his group had already stolen $3 million in a SIM swapping attack. When they broke in and held the woman at gunpoint to try to steal the $500,000 in crypto she had left, the woman refused to turn over her password to her cryptocurrency account, so dismayed by her earlier loss that she told the men just to shoot her.

St. Felix was convicted on nine counts by a federal jury, and faces a sentence of seven years to life in prison. Thirteen co-conspirators also pleaded guilty.

Farcana token plummets 60% amid murky explanations

The token for the Farcana blockchain shooting game plummeted in value by around 60%. First, the project team announced that one of the project wallets had been compromised. However, they later deleted that tweet, then claimed that one of their market makers had been compromised. They emphasized that their wallets had not been hacked, and that their smart contracts had not been exploited.

23.8 million FAR were taken from a wallet, and the majority were sold for around $164,000 in USDT. The exploiter still holds 3.4 million FAR, which are notionally worth $83,250 but not likely to be sellable for that amount.

Farcana raised $10 million in seed funding in November 2023 from investors including Animoca and Polygon Ventures.

Victim loses $11 million to permit phishing

A victim lost $11 million in Aave Ethereum (aEthMK) and Pendle USDe tokens after signing several permit phishing signatures. Permit phishing is a technique in which scammers convince a victim to sign a transaction that grants broad permissions, allowing the scammer to then drain assets from the wallets.

Sportsbet.io likely hacked for $3.5 million

It appears that the online crypto sports betting platform Sportsbet.io suffered a theft of around $3.5 million in USDT and Tron's TRX tokens. The theft was observed by crypto sleuth zachxbt, who noted that the theft seems to have been perpetrated by the same attacker who stole at least $55 million from the BtcTurk cryptocurrency exchange only hours earlier.

SportsBet has not yet disclosed any theft.