Details are thin on the ground at the moment, but there has been a sizable exploit on Ankr Protocol. On Dec. 2, the development team reported that its aBNB token had been exploited. It added that it was working with exchanges to halt trading.
Ankr also stated that all underlying assets on Ankr Staking were safe at this time, and all infrastructure services were unaffected.
Ankr is a web3 infrastructure provider for the BNB Chain ecosystem. It is a cloud computing platform that distributes idle computing power. Its native ANKR token can be mined by contributing computing power to the network. It also offers a variety of staking and yield-earning options on BEP-20 tokens.
Ankr Unlimited Minting Bug
Blockchain security firm PeckShield reported that the smart contract for the aBNBc token had an unlimited mint bug.
Furthermore, it reported that the Ankr exploiter had transferred 900 BNB worth around $253,000 into Tornado Cash. It had also bridged USDC and ETH to Ethereum, adding that the exploiter currently holds 3,000 ETH (around $3.8 million) and 500,000 USDC.
The hacker currently holds 20 trillion aBNBc, becoming the 13th largest holder of the token. aBNBc is a staking reward token otherwise known as Ankr Reward Bearing Staked BNB.
PeckShield also reported that copycat exploits were occurring as others took advantage of the vulnerability.
The losses have yet to be fully realized, but they’re likely to be in the millions of dollars. Early estimates are around $5 million gained by hackers from washing tokens through various bridges and DEXes.
ANKR and BNB Prices Slide
Ankr’s native token of the same name lost just 6.6% at the time of the exploit, according to CoinGecko. ANKR fell to $0.0211 but has since managed to recover to $0.0213 at the time of press. The token is already 90% down from its April 2021 all-time high of $0.213.
The Binance BNB token dropped 3.1% on the day in a fall to $288. However, this is in line with a wider crypto market decline today, as most digital assets are in the red at the moment.