Crypto company Wintermute suffered a $160 million heist

New York
CNN business

Hackers have stolen about $160 million worth of cryptocurrency from crypto market maker Wintermute, the company said on Tuesday. The incident marks the latest in a growing list of major crypto thefts this year.

The hack is said to have targeted Wintermute’s decentralized finance (DeFi) operations, according to multiple sources. the tweets By Evgeny Gaevoy, founder and CEO of the company.

DeFi services, a newer part of the crypto world, cut out centralized exchanges and rely primarily on the Ethereum blockchain technology. These services are considered “vulnerable to hacking,” according to blockchain analytics firm Elliptic, because of their open source code, large asset pools, and rapid growth that can create a gap in security best practices.

In the first seven months of 2022, a whopping $1.9 billion worth of cryptocurrency was stolen in hacks of various services, a 60% increase compared to the same period last year, according to a report released last month by blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis.

Some of the biggest crypto hacks of the year so far were on DeFi protocols, including the March $625 million hack of a gaming-based blockchain network that supports the popular video game Axie Infinity. Some of these thefts, including the Axie incident, have been attributed to hackers linked to North Korea. Wintermut has not given any indication of who might be behind the theft.

In his tweets on Tuesday, Gaevoy assured customers that Wintermute is still “doubled down” on the remaining $160 million in stolen equity.

Wintermute, founded by Gaevoy in 2017, refers to itself as a “leading” digital asset market maker. It has provided liquidity on more than 50 exchanges and crypto platforms.

Users were warned that the service could be interrupted for the next few days. “If you’re a Wintermute borrower, again, we’re solvent, but if you feel more confident about recalling the loan, we absolutely can,” Gaevoy said.