Crypto market maker Wintermute hacked for $160 million

    21 Sep 2022

    Algorithmic market maker service Wintermute suffered a hack on Sept. 20, with a loss from the platform’s portfolio of around $160 million across 90 assets. Wintermute stated that it has no solvency concerns, calling the hacker to engage in a “whitehat” response.

    Evgeny Gaevoy, Wintermute founder and CEO, said on Twitter that “we’ve been hacked for about $160M in our DeFi operations. CeFi and OTC operations are not affected.”

    Despite around $160 million stolen by the hacker, Gaevoy noted that “out of 90 assets that have been hacked only two have been for notional over $1 million (and not more than $2.5M),” and that as a result there shouldn’t be a “major selloff” of assets.

    Gaevoy said that the platform is “solvent with twice over that amount in equity left”, so all associated entities should expect full restoration of operations within the coming days. 

    CEO added that Wintermute remains open to treating the hack as a “white hat” scenario, in which the hacker returns the funds and receives a reward for identifying a vulnerability.

    After Gaevoy’s statement, self-proclaimed on-chain investigator and 2D detective ZachXBT claimed he identified the hacker’s wallet address, which contains $47.8 million in its wallet, while the remaining $114.3 million are in the decentralized stablecoin exchange Curve Protocol.

    Later, blockchain investigation platform EtherScan revealed that the wallet in question has made 45 transactions over the past 5 hours, and holds a slew of 80 tokens in its wallet, including $12.9 million of Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC), $3.9 million of Pax Dollar (USDP), and $2.3 million in Somnium Space CUBE tokens, and many more

    White hat hacks are common in crypto. Exchanges, market markers, and sometimes companies reward hackers with bounties in the form of cash or job positions. As the Ether (ETH) address for the Wintermute Exploiter is public, the address has been spammed by crypto enthusiasts, stating messages like “plz give. I’m very poor. Even $5k would be amazing.”

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