Hackers Exploit and Steal $600 Million from Ronin Bridge for Popular Crypto Game Axie Infinity

In one of the biggest crypto heists ever, hackers have managed to steal a staggering $600 million from Robin Network, a gaming blockchain that powers popular crypto game Axie Infinity.

The breach which originally took place last week was reported by Sky Mavis, the operator of Ronin and Axie on Tuesday, March 29. In a separate blog post, the developers confirmed that the hackers managed to steal 173,600 ETH and 25.5 million USDC in two different transactions.

In a detailed blog post appraising the situation, Ronin wrote: "The attacker used hacked private keys in order to forge fake withdrawals. We discovered the attack this morning after a report from a user being unable to withdraw 5,000 ETH from the bridge."

"We are working with law enforcement officials, forensic cryptographers, and our investors to make sure all funds are recovered or reimbursed”.

Ronin also said that it is working with blockchain tracing firm Chainalysis to track the stolen funds. Axie Infinity is a very popular game which allows players to breed and battle digital monsters called “axies" that are linked to non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

This is a “play to earn” game wherein users earn crypto by playing in the game. Till date, more than 2 million daily active users are playing the game.

Post this hack, crypto surveillance firm Elliptic said that the hackers have already started laundering their proceeds. However, some of the most popular crypto exchanges to extend support to Axie Infinity.

In its Twitter post, crypto exchange Huobi noted: "Any stolen crypto assets that have been discovered to have traversed our exchange and related networks will be dealt with expediently”. Similarly, CEO of FTX exchange Sam Bankman-Fried said that they will be investigating the matter very soon. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao also assured that its team is "providing assistance in tracking this issue." 

In a recent Q&A session, users asked whether if Ronin is safe to use. Responding to it, developers said: "As we've witnessed, Ronin is not immune to exploitation and this attack has reinforced the importance of prioritizing security, remaining vigilant, and mitigating all threats. We know trust needs to be earned and are using every resource at our disposal to deploy the most sophisticated security measures and processes to prevent future attacks.”

Currently, users aren’t able to withdraw or deposit funds as developers are working on safety measures. The developers said that the bridge will be opened at a future date when they are sure that no further funds can be drained. In one of its recent Twitter posts, Axie Infinity wrote: “We’re here to stay”.