The Nomad token bridge appears to have experienced a security exploit that has allowed hackers to systematically drain the bridge’s funds over a long series of transactions.
Nearly the entire $ 190.7 million in crypto has been removed from the bridge, with only $ 651.54 left remaining in the wallet, according to decentralized finance (DeFi) tracking platform DeFi Llama.
Nomad bridge is getting drained, your funds might be at risk and might be able to still withdraw the remaining funds ⚠️ https://t.co/RgYmjSV9eB
– stani.lens (,) (@StaniKulechov) August 1, 2022
The first suspicious transaction, which may have been the genesis of the ongoing exploit, came at 9:32 pm UTC when someone managed to remove 100 Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) worth about $ 2.3 million tokens from the bridge.
Shortly after the community raised alarm bells over the potential exploit, the Nomad team confirmed at 11:35 pm UTC that it was aware of the “incident involving the Nomad token bridge” adding it is “currently investigating the incident.”
The Nomad team told Cointelegraph in an emailed statement on August 1 that it had retained the services of “leading firms for blockchain intelligence and forensics.”
“Nomad has notified law enforcement and is working around the clock to address the situation and provide timely updates. Nomad’s goal is to identify the accounts involved and to trace and recover the funds. Nomad is grateful to its many white hat friends who reacted quickly to withdraw and safeguard the funds. “
The incident has seen WBTC, Wrapped Ether (WETH), USD Coin (USDC), Frax (FRAX), Covalent Query Token (CQT), Hummingbird Governance Token (HBOT), IAGON (IAG), Dai (DAI), GeroWallet (GERO ), Card Starter (CARDS), Saddle DAO (SDL), and Charli3 (C3) tokens taken from the bridge.
We are aware of the incident involving the Nomad token bridge. We are currently investigating and will provide updates when we have them.
– Nomad (⤭⛓) (@nomadxyz_) August 1, 2022
Exploiters removed tokens in an unusual fashion as each token was removed in nearly equivalent denominations. For example, transactions with exactly 202,440.725413 USDC were executed over 200 times.
Nomad is a token bridge that allows transfers of tokens between Avalanche (AVAX), ethereum (ETH), Evmos (EVMOS), Milkomeda C1, and Moonbeam (GLMR).
Unlike other exploits that have become somewhat commonplace in 2022, this event so far has hundreds of addresses receiving tokens directly from the bridge.
Meanwhile, the Moonbeam smart contract platform from the Polkadot network, whose native GLMR token was one targeted in the Nomad exploit, went into maintenance mode at 11:18 pm UTC “to investigate a security incident.” As a result, Moonbeam’s functionality such as regular user transactions and smart contract interactions will be disabled.
1 / Important Notice: The Moonbeam Network has gone into Maintenance Mode in order to investigate a security incident with a smart contract deployed on the network.
– Moonbeam Network #HarvestMoonbeam (@MoonbeamNetwork) August 1, 2022
The attack is untimely for the bridge which and its seed round investors from a fundraise in April. On July 29, the project revealed in a tweet that Coinbase Ventures, OpenSea, and five other major companies in the crypto industry participated in an April seed round fundraising which landed Nomad a $ 225 million valuation.
Updated with statement from Nomad about the incident which was sent to Cointelegraph on August 1.