Surprisingly, the hacker behind the exploit didn’t use any mixer services or decentralized exchanges.
Cryptocurrency exchange Binance froze $4.2 million worth of XRP from the $112 million hack of Ripple co-founder’s personal wallet on Jan. 31., making it the largest hack of 2024.
In an X post, the CEO of Binance, Richard Teng, revealed that they had frozen the address of the exploiter and thanked on-chain sleuth ZachXBT and the Ripple team for the coordination and help.
We appreciate both the communities efforts in flagging it to exchanges – as always @zachxbt…
— Richard Teng (@_RichardTeng) February 1, 2024
Thomas Silkjær, the head of analytics and compliance at XRP Ledger Foundation, responded to Teng’s post and claimed XRPLF first investigated the issue, which was later popularized by ZachXBT.
There were early speculations that the fintech firm Ripple, the issuer behind XRP, was hacked, with some news claiming the XRP token was hacked. However, Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen revealed that his personal accounts were compromised.
The hacker behind the exploit surprisingly didn’t use any mixer services or decentralized exchanges to hide their identity. Most of the exploiters in recent times have stopped using centralized exchanges due to fear of freezing of accounts.
ZachXBT later revealed that the Ripple attribution for the affected account was tagged in XRPScan and Bithomp (XRP block explorers) as the Ripple entity, leading to confusion about Ripple’s hack.
Ripple co-founder and executive Larsen revealed that some of his personal XRP accounts were compromised and 213 million XRP were stolen However, the firm Ripple was unaffected by the exploit. Larsen also said they are in talks with crypto exchanges to freeze the exploiter address and have also informed law enforcement agencies about the same.
As per ZachXBT, the exploiters netted 213 million XRP worth about $112.5 million, and then the perpetrator(s) attempted to launder the XRP through at least six different exchanges, including MEXC, Gate, Binance, Kraken, OKX, HTX, and HitBTC.
While Binance has frozen some of the stolen funds, other crypto exchanges, including OKX and Krkaken, have yet to reveal if they have identified or frozen any funds associated with the hack. Cointelegraph reached out to Binance and Ripple for comments on the issue but didn’t get a response at press time.