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Axi Infinity's Blockchain Was Allegedly Hacked Through a Fake LinkedIn Job Offer

Axi Infinity's Blockchain Was Allegedly Hacked Through a Fake LinkedIn Job Offer

The blockchain of high-profile crypto game Axi Infinity was allegedly hacked with an elaborate phishing scheme that involved fake LinkedIn job offers. The Block reported today, citing two sources with knowledge of the incident. This revealed a whole new dimension to one of the largest decentralized finance, or DeFi, hacks of all time.

According to The Block, the hackers - whom the US government identified as North Korean group Lazarus - targeted employees of Axi Infinity developer Sky Mavis. They reportedly reached out to LinkedIn on behalf of a fake company, and when employees took the bait, they proceeded with several rounds of fake job interviews and then an "extremely generous" fake compensation package. The con reportedly culminated in a senior engineer clicking on a PDF containing the official proposal - at which point the hackers first compromised the engineer's computer, then four of the nine nodes validating financial transactions on Sky Mavis' Ronin blockchain. used to do.

Sky Mavis previously revealed that hackers theoretically took control of the fifth node from the decentralized Axi DAO, thanks to Sky Mavis' decision to sign transactions during a particularly busy period in November. After that, he liquidated the Ethereum and USDC cryptocurrency backing the Sky Mavis treasury, which was worth around $625 million at the time. (After a recent crypto crash, it is now closer to $225 million.) The company noticed the hack a week after it happened in March. In its earlier post-mortem, it blamed "advanced spear-phishing attacks" that compromised an employee who no longer worked at Sky Mavis — but it did not explain the exact mechanism of the hack.

Axie Infinity was once seen as an example of the success of "play to earn" games, with some players making full-time living from their real-money economy. But the value of its token fell in the midst of a major crypto crash, and Sky Mavis has spent the past months recovering from the breach. It raised $150 million in funding last week to help reimburse players and reopen transactions on its Ronin Bridge. (Disclosure: I purchased Three Axis Fungible Tokens, or NFTs, earlier this year to play and report on the game.) It also implemented additional security measures to prevent future hacks. In the meantime, it has launched a second game called Axie Infinity Origins and tries to move away from what is known as an attempt to make money rather than a game played for fun.

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