Hackers steal more than $600M from Ronin blockchain used to play Axie Infinity

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Mar 29, 2022 | CYBERSCOOP

The cryptocurrency used to play the Pokémon-inspired blockchain game Axie Infinity was the target of a March 23 crypto heist of more than $600 million, one of the largest in history.

In February 2021, the Ronin blockchain debuted. Ronin offers 20 free transactions to each account holder.

In a newsletter posted to the Ronin Network Substack page, its leaders said the Ronin bridge that connects Axie Infinity’s Ronin sidechain to ethereum and Katana Dex, a decentralized exchange in the Axie Infinity ecosystem, have been halted while they work with law enforcement, forensic cryptographers, and investors to recover the stolen cryptocurrency.

The hacker compromised the Ronin and third-party Axie DAO validator nodes using hacked private keys to forge fake withdrawals, the newsletter said.

The Ronin chain includes nine validator nodes of which five signatures are needed to deposit or withdraw cryptocurrency. The attacker took control of Sky Mavis’ four Ronin validators and a third-party validator run by Axie DAO, the newsletter said. 

Last week’s hack can be traced back to November 2021 when Sky Mavis, the company behind Axie Infinity, asked Axie DAO for support distributing free

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