In one of the biggest crypto hacks in history, hackers drained cross-chain bridge Multichain of $125 million last week. And blockchain analysts are now saying it might have been an inside job.
In a Monday report, blockchain data firm Chainalysis said the exploit “appears to be a hack or rug pull by insiders” that has led many “ecosystem participants perplexed.”
Multichain—previously known as Anyswap—is a cross-chain protocol, meaning it facilitates the exchange of different cryptocurrencies across multiple blockchains. It has been locked since May due to what was described as a technical issue, with users unable to make transactions.
Then, over $125 million disappeared in “abnormal” transfers last week. And just yesterday, another $103 million in crypto was moved to various blockchain addresses, security firm Beosin said.
The exploit was due to the project administrator’s keys being compromised—if not used by the administrator directly—and Chainalysis said this is evidence of a “rug pull.”
“While it’s possible those keys were taken by an external hacker, many security experts and other analysts think this exploit could be an inside job or rug pull, due in part to recent issues suffered by Multichain,” the firm said.
It added that Multichain’s CEO, alias Zhaojun, went missing, which is also evidence of a scam project.
In the crypto world, a “rug pull” is when developers raise funds to deliver a project but then abandon it and fraudulently keep investor funds.
Such exploits are very common in the novel and highly experimental world of decentralized finance (DeFi), the crypto sphere which aims to replace traditional financial services like borrowing and lending via blockchain technology.