Optimism (OP) loses 20 million tokens after sending them to the wrong address

Optimism misplaces 20 million OP tokens

The solution of second layer (layer 2) of Ethereum (ETH) Optimism, which recently launched its first airdrop, saw itself steal $15 million in the form of OP tokens following a transaction error.

Optimism sent 20 million OP tokens (about $15 million) to the Wintermute organization through the fund dedicated to network partners 2 weeks ago, in particular in order to provide liquidity to exchanges.

Only the organism transmitted its layer 1 address, not that of layer 2 on which Optimism operates. As a result, $15 million worth of OP tokens were transmitted… at a wrong address.

“In communicating the wallet address to the Optimism team, we made a serious mistake. We had a Gnosis Safe multisig wallet deployed on the mainnet for some time and due to an internal error we reported the same wallet for the receiving address. »

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Course of events

When the Wintermute team discovered the error, May 30the latter claimed that the funds, although on a wrong address, remained in a safe place because they were inaccessible. And yet, someone seems to have managed to grab the tokens, the latter having been moved to another address.

As stated in the official Wintermute release, the individual is said to have already sold a million of them at the time of writing these lines.

“Unfortunately, an attacker was able to deploy the multisig on layer 2 with different initialization parameters before the recovery operation was complete and took control of the 20 million OP tokens. This address has since sold 1 million tokens, and can easily sell the rest. »

The thief has thus sent tokens to Ethereumbefore transferring them to another wallet address via Tornado Casha very common practice during hacks in order to erase the traces of transactions for make funds untraceable.

Wintermute fully admitted his mistake though, and has undertaken to reimburse each token that would be sold from this address. This is also done for the 1 million OPs already sold.

Beyond the possibility of reselling the 20 million tokens, the attacker could also use the tokens massively to influence the votes of governance of the decentralized autonomous organization (DAO). A scenario that has not yet arisen, but which remains under the watchful eye of the Optimism teams.

The striker still has a week to return the funds

In its statement, Wintermute raises the possibility that theattacker possibly a white hat and that he ends up giving back the 19 million tokens still stored on the initial address. However, according to them, this is not the most probable track, in particular because their message sent to the hacker remained unanswered.

The team in charge of the project thus sent a message to the attacker via its official press release, mentioning in particular the possibilities of collaboration :

“The way the attack was carried out is quite impressive and we may even consider possibilities for consultation or other forms of cooperation in the future. »

However, it would seem to be double or nothing for the attacker, Wintermute having indicated that if necessary, everything necessary will be done to harm him :

“You have one week to consider becoming a white hat. In the event the above does not occur, we are 100% committed to returning all funds, tracking down the person(s) responsible for the exploit, doxxing them [révéler leur identité publiquement] completely and deliver them to the corresponding legal system. Consider your options and choose to be good and optimistic instead of living in fear. »

Until then, Optimism has returned 20 million new OP tokens to Wintermuteso as not to jeopardize the initial plans to provide liquidity to exchanges offering the OP token.

👉 Read also – USDT loses 88% of its value on the EvoDeFi bridge of the Oasis blockchain: are we dealing with a rugpull?

Sources: Wintermute press release, Optimism press release

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About the Author : Maximilien Prue


Passionate about the world of decentralized finance and the novelties brought by Web 3.0, I write articles for Cryptoast to help make the blockchain more accessible to everyone. Convinced that cryptocurrencies will change the future very soon.
All articles by Maximilien Prué.

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