Bitcoin Layer-2 developer Alex Labs has successfully frozen over $3.9 million in…

Bitcoin Layer-2 developer Alex Labs has successfully frozen over $3.9 million in cryptocurrencies exploited from its BNB Smart Chain bridge, according to a social media post on May 16 by the team. According to the post, the attacker sent the funds to several different central exchanges (CEXs), allowing them to be frozen in cooperation with the exchanges.

Source: Alex Laboratories

The team said it recovered the full balances of 17 different tokens, including “all aBTC, sUSDT, xBTC, xUSD, ALEX, atALEX, LiSTX, LUNR, SKO, CHAX, $B20, ORDG, ORMM, ORNJ, TRIO, TX20, and STXS.” “.

Stacks (STX) tokens worth $13.7 million were also exploited. Of these, the attacker made the mistake of sending “about 3 million” to central exchanges. The post links to a spreadsheet showing STX balances on each exchange the hacker used to transfer funds. It appears that a total of $3.7 million is held on exchanges, while $9.6 million is held in wallets under the direct control of the attacker.

Bitcoin Layer-2 Developer Alex Labs Has Successfully Frozen Over $3.9 Million In...
List of CEXs with exploited funds. Source: Alex Laboratories

The attacker withdrew the funds by taking control of the private key that provided access to one of the bridge’s “vaults.” However, “the smart contract code and underlying ALEX infrastructure were not compromised,” the team claimed.

Related: The Alex Bridge on BNB Smart Chain was drained of $4.3 million after a suspicious upgrade

Alex Labs offered a 10% reward to the attacker and a promise not to prosecute if they returned the other 90% of the stolen funds. They also prepare a police report, which will be filed if the attacker does not agree to negotiate.

Given the possibility that not all funds will be recovered, the team is “evaluating the deployment of ALEX dollar reserves held by the ALEX Lab Foundation.” These reserves could be used in the Treasury Grant Program to compensate users who lost money in the attack.

A disproportionate amount of the exploited funds consisted of STX tokens, so the team may also propose a Stacks network upgrade that would freeze the remaining funds and issue new tokens to send to victims.

A network upgrade to freeze an attacker’s coins is not at all unprecedented. This was done during the 2016 Ethereum DAO hack and after PopcornSwap withdrew the BNB smart chain. However, these upgrades are rarely approved. If the PopcornSwap rug was pulled, the promotion froze funds but did not compensate investors.

In its post, Alex Labs claimed that it continues to monitor the attacker’s addresses and has “multiple alerts” in an attempt to prevent funds from being disbursed.

Alex is not the only layer 2 Bitcoin bridge to be attacked recently. On May 17, the XLink bridge was also attacked, losing $10 million. In this case, a white hat hacker was able to recover $4.3 million in stolen funds. The XLink attack was almost identical to the attack on Alex, with the attacker in both cases using a phishing tactic to obtain the team’s private key, which was then used to make unauthorized withdrawals.

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