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Hacker Steals $625 Million from NFT Game Axie Infinity Blockchain

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Hackers have stolen $625 million in cryptocurrency from the popular video game Axie Infinity.  The game company's executives confirmed the incident on Tuesday, which marks one of the largest crypto-thefts to date amid rising rates of such crime.

According to the company, hackers broke into a portion of Ronin, which is the blockchain that powers the game, on Wednesday last week. However, Axie Infinity and Ronin developers at Sky Mavis say they only discovered the breach on Tuesday this week.

“There has been a security breach on the Ronin Network,” the company said in a post in its newsletter. “We are working directly with various government agencies to ensure the criminals get brought to justice.”

According to a blog post published by the Ronin Network’s official Substack, the attack targeted Ronin Network validator nodes for Sky Mavis, who are developers of the popular Axie Infinity game and the Axie DAO. An attacker utilized hacked private keys in order to fabricate false withdrawals from the Ronin bridge spanning two transactions. 

The Ronin sidechain has nine validators that need five signatures for withdrawals, so as to protect against these types of assaults. However, the attacker identified a backdoor through the company's gas-free RPC node. The hacker, therefore, utilized this to steal the signature for the Axie DAO validator, according to the blog post.

The Ronin hackers were able to steal around 174,000 ETH and also 26 million USDC. Collectively, the hackers made away with $625 million. 

Axie Infinity is a blockchain-based game where players can breed, train and battle cute little pets called Axies. In Axie Infinity players earn money in form of crypto by competing in battles and tournaments.

It can cost roughly $100 to start playing the game, according to websites that follow Axie Infinity. 

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Evans I. Karanja is a freelance writer who loves to write about anything technology. He is always on the lookout for interesting topics, and enjoys writing about video games, cryptocurrency and blockchain and more. When not writing, he can be found playing video games or watching F1.