News - Bitfinex escapes billion-dollar Ripple hacking attempt

By Luc Vesters

Bitfinex escapes billion-dollar Ripple hacking attempt

Ripple (XRP)
Scams, crime and fraud

The crypto exchange Bitfinex has fallen victim to an attempted exploit. This writes Bitfinex CTO Paolo Ardoino on the X platform. The attempt to attack has been averted, however. According to Ardoino, unknown hackers attempted to attack the exchange through a so-called "partial payments exploit."

The hackers forged a XRP-transaction totaling nearly US$15 billion (USD). A huge amount, considering Ripple's market capitalization of US$31 billion. However, the actual amount of the transfer was only a few US cents. The calculation: Exchanges are led to believe that huge amounts of XRP (in this case, several billion US dollars) are being transferred.

The alleged amount can be found in the blockchain metadata field "Amount." However, the "delivered_amount" field is relevant to the transaction. In the case of the exploit attempt, this was only 0.001 USD, as can be seen from blockchain data appears. However, if the exchange does not distinguish between "Amount" and "delivered_amount," the attacker's account may be credited with the fictitious amount.

Paolo Ardoino writes on Platform X: "Someone tried to attack Bitfinex with the "Partial Payments Exploit". The attack failed because Bitfinex correctly processes the 'delivered_amount' data field."

Nevertheless, the alleged billion-dollar transaction made waves. Eventually, the popular blockchain tracker "Whale Alert" (3 million followers on X) published a corresponding alert, which has since been removed.

Hacks and exploits are commonplace in the cryptospace industry. Decentralized exchanges, known as DEXs, are a particular focus for hackers because they often have security problems. Just last November, the decentralized exchange KyberSwap was the victim of a million-dollar hack.

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