Axie Infinity halts NFT game upgrade following $622M hack
Earlier this week, news broke that the Ronin Network sidechain, the blockchain behind the popular Ethereum NFT game Axie Infinity, was hacked. The attacker(s) stole about $622 million worth of crypto funds from the bridge connecting Ronin to Ethereum.
Following the security breach, Axie Infinity developer Sky Mavis has decided to delay its long-awaited upgrade by a week.
The upgrade, “Axie Infinity: Origin,” was scheduled to launch on Friday as an alpha version. However, following the exploit, which happened on March 23 but was only discovered earlier this week, the Origin launch has been postponed to April 7. Sky Mavis, in a post, said:
While the game is ready for soft launch, we’ve decided to give the engineering and security team an additional window of time to deeply investigate all implications of the breach, before asking for their full attention to support Origin’s release.
As a backstory, Sky Mavis discovered on Tuesday that a hacker had broken into its network and drained 173,600 ETH and 25.5 million USDC stablecoins. At the time of discovery, the stolen cryptocurrencies were valued at around $622 million.
Surprisingly, the actual attack occurred almost a week earlier on March 23 but went unnoticed for days. Sky Mavis explained that it became aware of the situation after a user tried to withdraw 5,000 ETH worth of funds from Ronin but was unable to do so.
According to investigations, the attacker gained access to five of the nine validator nodes that sign transactions on the sidechain.
In the meantime, Sky Mavis has temporarily shut down its bridge and the Katana decentralized exchange. The developers have also pledged to “make sure all funds are recovered or reimbursed.”
Judging by the value of funds stolen, the Ronin attack is currently the second-largest DeFi hack of all time.