• Ronin Network was hacked on March 23
  • The incident was discovered on March 30
  • The blockchain brige lost over $600 million due to the heist

A major heist that allowed hackers to steal over $600 million worth of cryptocurrency from a digital ledger used by "Axie Infinity" players went unnoticed for a week until Tuesday.

Ronin Network, the blockchain bridge of the popular play-to-earn game "Axie Infinity," was hacked. A blockchain bridge is software that allows cross-chain communication and enables people to convert tokens into the kind they can use on another network.

The breach happened on March 23 but was only discovered by Ronin Network Tuesday. Malicious actors siphoned 173,600 ETH and 25.5 million stablecoin (USDC tokens) from the blockchain bridge through a couple of transactions.

Representative image Credit: Pixabay

The hack was valued at $545 million during the actual haul on March 23, but its value shot up to around $625 million based on the prices on Tuesday. This major hack, is by far, one of the largest that happened in the cryptocurrency industry.

Ronin Network and "Axie Infinity" developer Sky Mavis froze transactions on the blockchain bridge on Tuesday. "We have temporarily paused the Ronin Bridge to ensure no further attack vectors remain open," the team noted.

"Binance has also disabled their bridge to/from Ronin to err on the side of caution. The bridge will be opened up at a later date once we are certain no funds can be drained," they added. "We have temporarily disabled Katana DEX due to the inability to arbitrage and deposit more funds to Ronin Network. We are working with Chainalysis to monitor the stolen funds," Ronin said in the blog post.

The team is currently working "directly with various government agencies to ensure the criminals get brought to justice."

According to the team, they "are in the process of discussing with Axie Infinity / Sky Mavis stakeholders about how to best move forward and ensure no users' funds are lost." Most of the stolen funds are still in the hacker's wallet at the time of writing.

Whitestream Blockchain Intelligence noted that some of the stolen funds "were sent to the largest digital currency exchanges worldwide." The latest hack underlines how bridges are vulnerable to attackers.

According to experts, running unaudited computer codes makes the bridge susceptible to bad actors who have ingenious ways to exploit vulnerabilities.