Monday 20 September 2021 2:11 pm

Hacker steals £8.6m Bitcoin from pNetwork

A hacker has stolen 277 Bitcoin, worth over £8.6m, from the cross chain protocol pNetwork by exploiting a bug in its code.

pNetwork allows value to be transferred between blockchains by exchanging user coins, which are stored as collateral, for a wrapped token which can be used on a new chain. The attack targeted the Binance Smart Chain and stole the majority of user funds held as Bitcoin.

In a statement, pNetwork said “we’re sorry to inform the community that an attacker was able to leverage a bug in our codebase and attack pBTC on BSC, stealing 277 BTC (most of its collateral). The other bridges were not affected. All other funds in the pNetwork are safe.”

pNetwork has since confirmed that the bug has been fixed and the network is functioning as usual online except for the Binance Smart Chain bridge which remains suspended.

The team has offered the hacker a $1.5m reward as a ‘bug bounty,’ a prize given to developers who identify weaknesses in a project’s codebase.

The pNetwork addressed the hacker directly on Twitter, saying: “to the black hat hacker. Although this is a long shot, we’re offering a clean $1,500,000 bounty if funds are returned. Finding vulnerabilities is part of the game unfortunately, but we all want DeFi ecosystem to continue growing, returning funds is a step in that direction.”

The news comes months after CipherTrace, a blockchain analytics company, published a study revealing that DeFi hacks account for more than 76 per cent of crypto hack volume in the first seven months of 2021.

pNetwork’s native token, PNT, has seen its price plummet by 21 per cent in the past 24 hours to stand at $0.9273.

Read more: More than $600m lost in worst ever DeFi hack