Heco Bridge Exploited in Apparent $86.6 Million Crypto Heist

Published: Nov 22, 2023
Written By:
Vignesh Karunanidhi
Milk Road Writer

In one of the most recent updates, PeckShield spotted abnormal withdrawals from the Heco bridge, including over $19 million worth of Ethereum. Additional funds in Tether, Chainlink, and other tokens were also rapidly drained in what seems to be an attack exploiting the bridge’s systems.

PeckShield stated that the transactions were initiated by an operator address, speculating that a compromised operator may be behind the breach.

Key Details:

  • $86.6 million drained from Heco Bridge across tokens
  • Funds immediately sold on DEXs for untraceability
  • Analysts allege exploit attack targeting bridge infrastructure
  • Suspected compromise of operator access/keys

Stolen funds include

  • 346,994 Tether (USDT)
  • 42,399 Chainlink (LINK)
  • 619,000 USD Coin (USDC)
  • 173,200 Uniswap (UNI)
  • 346.9 million Shiba Inu (SHIB)
  • 489 Huobi Token (HT)
  • 42 million USDT
  • 10,145 ETH

Stolen crypto sold on DEXs

The stolen assets were quickly converted to other cryptocurrencies through decentralized exchanges in an attempt to obscure the trail and cash out the exploited funds.

Besides the bridge breach, analysts also flagged $23 million in suspicious withdrawals from crypto exchange HTX in patterns similar to the Heco attack. HTX began shifting its remaining funds to a recovery wallet, indicating it may have also faced an exploit.

While investigations will likely continue into the stolen funds, the scale of the Heco crypto drain highlights the risks still inherent in crypto infrastructure like chain bridges. The scale of the exploit is $86.6. However, it can definitely increase as the investigation opens up.

Following the attack, HTX advisor Justin Sun confirmed the hack in his recent tweet. He ensured that HTX would fully compensate for the hot wallet losses. Additionally, Sun mentioned that deposits and withdrawals are temporarily suspended. Sun also assured that all funds in HTX are secure.

Vignesh Karunanidhi
Milk Road Writer
Vignesh has been a seasoned professional in the crypto space since 2017. He has been writing for over 5 years and specializes in writing and editing various types of crypto content, including news articles, long-form pieces, and blog posts, all focused on sharing the beauty of blockchain and crypto.