Leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance has frozen $4.2 million worth of XRP tokens connected to this week’s high-profile theft of over $112 million from Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen.
While representing only a sliver of the exploited amount, Binance has pledged ongoing assistance with efforts to track the missing funds.
Crypto exchange Binance froze $4.2 million worth of XRP tokens connected to the $120 million hack of Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen’s personal wallet
Binance is working with Ripple to monitor the external wallets still holding a majority of the stolen funds in case more gets deposited to Binance
The exploit was initially erroneously reported as targeting Ripple itself, but later clarified as only impacting Larsen’s personal XRP accounts
Ripple is now leading the ongoing investigation and tracking effort after being handed all relevant data from the XRP Ledger Foundation
Only about 3.75% of the total stolen XRP worth $112 million has been frozen so far, with the vast majority still at large as Ripple continues its probe
Binance CEO Richard Teng said Thursday that his firm moved swiftly to lock down accounts tied to the hack after being alerted by developers behind the XRP Ledger blockchain that powers XRP. Larsen himself disclosed the breach on Wednesday, stating several of his personal XRP accounts had seen “unauthorized access.”
After finding out early on about the exploit that occurred at @Ripple, we’re happy to say that the #Binance team has managed to freeze $4.2 Million worth of $XRP stolen by the exploiter.
We appreciate both the communities efforts in flagging it to exchanges – as always @zachxbt…
— Richard Teng (@_RichardTeng) February 1, 2024
Following identification of the perpetrator’s wallet addresses by forensic investigators, Binance froze deposits traced back to the compromise. The $4.2 million represents just 3.75% of the immense 213 million XRP stash stolen during the prolonged hacking campaign.
While Teng initially incorrectly framed the incident as impacting Ripple directly, as opposed to Larsen’s individual finances, his firm remains committed to aiding the investigation. Binance has promised close monitoring of the anonymous hacker’s external wallet still harboring most of the purloined XRP in case those assets get transferred onto its platform.
Responsibility for continuing the exploit investigation has shifted to Ripple in the aftermath. Larsen’s company was provided all relevant intelligence by the XRP Ledger Foundation to carry on tracking the huge missing XRP amount solo going forward.
Little is known publicly about the sophisticated attack that drained Larsen’s XRP holdings over an extended period before detection. Despite rumors of a potential insider job, Larsen himself labelled it “unauthorized access,” using typical data breach language.
While news of a nine-figure XRP theft might seem poised to impact asset prices, so far markets have shrugged off the massive ripple. XRP has even managed to post moderate gains over 24 hours compared to slight losses for the overall crypto market.
As for impacted leader Larsen, he remains an XRP billionaire even in the wake of the epic megahack thanks to his remaining token stores. The episode does, however, highlight the unique security issues central figures and creators in crypto face as lucrative hacking targets.
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