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On Friday, February 24th, the decentralized platform Oasis revealed it had hacked its own wallet software. According to the blog post, the platform was acting on orders received from the High Court of England and Wales, and the attack was intended to steal back the funds taken a year earlier in the Wormhole hack.
According to a blog post from Friday, February 24th, the decentralized platform Oasis hacked its own wallet software in an effort to steal back the funds taken in the Wormhole hack. The action was ordered by the High Court of England and Wales and was undertaken using Oasis Multisig and an authorized third party.
According to the announcement, the action was possible due to the discovery of a previously-unknown vulnerability discovered by a Whitehat group. Oasis also stressed that the access used in the counter-hack was intended solely to help protect user assets as it would help the platform move quickly in the case of an attack:
What occurred on 21st February 2023 was only possible due to a previously unknown vulnerability in the design of the admin multisig access. We stress that this access was there with the sole intention to protect user assets in the event of any potential attack, and would have allowed us to move quickly to patch any vulnerability disclosed to us. It should be noted that at no point, in the past or present, have user assets been at risk of being accessed by any unauthorised party.
The Wormhole hack took place in early February 2022. At the time, the attack was the second-largest theft of cryptocurrency from a decentralized platform. The exploiter managed to take the equivalent of $320 million in Wormhole Ethereum (WeETH). The case has also been noted as a showcase of how the transparency of the blockchain makes it difficult for thieves to cash out their ill-gotten gains.
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While 2022 has in many ways been a record-breaking year for cryptocurrency-related crime, there have been several noted coups against hackers, thieves, and scammers. Earlier this week, the efforts of an attacker on the decentralized platform Platypus have quickly been contained. According to a blog post from Thursday, the platform is on track to recover most of the funds to its users.
The recent efforts against criminals and scammers have arguably been spearheaded by “digital detectives”. Perhaps the most notable one in the cryptocurrency community is a Twitter user going by the name of ZachXBT whose efforts led to the FBI’s arrest of a major phishing scammer. Another prominent online detective is a YouTuber known as Coffezilla who recently tricked an MMA star into linking to an expose of his previous scams disguised as an NFT offering.
Law enforcement agencies have also been very active when it comes to cracking down on cryptocurrency-related crime. Their efforts, however, have been met with criticism. While Sam Bankman-Fried has been arrested and is facing an impressive onslaught of criminal and civil charges, many have questioned why the regulators have moved only after his exchange collapsed—especially considering the scale of fraud and misconduct revealed after the bankruptcy.