A new Solana ecosystem cryptocurrency hack has left thousands of users with empty wallets — and it’s still going on. On August 2, 2022, the first owners of wallets linked to Solana reported that their funds were being actively stolen, and as the day progressed, more and more reports came in. While the cause of the hack is still unknown and thus cannot be stopped, one thing is certain: millions of dollars have already been lost, with more to come unless someone identify soon the source of the problem.
They built Solana on a decentralized blockchain, which is a sort of ledger in which every cryptocurrency transaction is recorded and must be confirmed in a peer-to-peer network before it can be completed. Decentralized funds do not belong to a single organization, and control over the blockchain is divided. Although Bitcoin and Ethereum are larger than Solana, the latter is still one of the largest cryptocurrencies, and it runs its own network that supports other cryptocurrencies, such as the USDC stablecoin (pegged to the value of the US dollar).
It appears that the majority of those affected by this attack lost money in both Solana’s native token SOL and USDC. The current losses vary according to the reports, but it’s clear that we’re talking about millions of dollars. Miles Deutscher, a crypto analyst, estimates $6 million, but security firm PeckShieldAlert claims it could be more than $8 million. There is no way of knowing how much money will be lost by the time the attacker is finally apprehended.
Almost 8,000 wallets were drained
Aside from the aforementioned coins, over 300 other Solana-based tokens, as well as a few non-fungible tokens, have been stolen (NFTs). According to Fortune, most of the affected crypto wallets were “hot wallets,” which meant it connected them to the internet. I frequently thought these wallets to be less secure than “cold wallets,” also known as “hardware wallets,” which do not require an internet connection and are more difficult to compromise. The following wallets suffered the most losses as a result of the Solana attack: Phantom, Slope, and Trust Wallet.
According to Austin Federa, the Solana Foundation’s head of communications, “this does not appear to be a bug in Solana core code, but in software used by several wallets popular among network users.” I repeat this statement in many publications, which report that the hacker could accept the wallet-draining transactions on behalf of the account’s owners. Anatoly Yakovenko, Solana’s co-founder, claimed on Twitter that the hack could be a “supply chain attack,” implying that the attacker targeted a third-party vendor rather than the Solana platform itself.
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While experts from various ecosystems work to help Solana stop the attack, the general recommendation for users is to move their funds to an offline wallet. According to Solana Status on Twitter, there has been no evidence of hardware wallets being impacted. They also expected the same account to post status updates as new information becomes available.