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Raydium exploiter moves $2.7M to crypto mixer Tornado Cash

The hackers sent 1,774.5 Ether to the sanctioned cryptocurrency mixer weeks after the DeFi protocol exploit.

In an alert, blockchain security firm CertiK reported that the Raydium protocol exploiter had sent 1,774.5 Ether (ETH) to the mixer. The amount is worth around $2.7 million at the time of writing.

While security teams from various exchanges continue to combat the efforts of hackers, funds continue to flow to the sanctioned cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash. 

#CertiKSkynetAlert

We are seeing ~1,774.5 ETH (~$2.7M) being deposited into @TornadoCash from the Raydium exploiter 0xb98ac as labeled on https://t.co/lb2v6r8c4s.

Stay vigilant! pic.twitter.com/JVqWAw9MVO

— CertiK Alert (@CertiKAlert) January 19, 2023

The attack on the Solana-based decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol occurred back on Dec. 16. According to the developers, the hackers took control of the exchange owner’s account and drained the liquidity provider funds consisting of various digital assets like USD Coin (USDC), Wrapped Solana (wSOL) and Raydium.

Following the initial investigation, the DeFi protocol determined that the exploit was due to a vulnerability in the decentralized exchange’s smart contracts. This allowed admins to withdraw liquidity pools as fees.

Because of the losses, the Raydium team also proposed a plan to compensate the victims of the hacks, involving using the decentralized autonomous organization treasury to buy missing tokens, repaying those affected by the exploit.

In a report released on Jan. 9, blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis pointed out that while Tornado Cash sanctions had some effect on the mixer, no organization can “pull the plug” easily compared to centralized services. While its website can be taken down, its smart contracts are able to run indefinitely, highlighting that anyone can continue to use it at any time.

Related: Balancer warns some LPs to remove liquidity ASAP because of a ‘related issue’

While hackers continue to move funds actively, it doesn’t always end up as a win for them. Recently, centralized crypto exchanges Binance and Huobi were able to detect and freeze funds deposited by the Harmony One hackers. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao reported that their security team collaborated with Huobi to recover 121 Bitcoin (BTC) from the hackers, which was worth $2.5 million at the time.

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