For those still sweating it out in the office, not lucky enough to have left for some serious digital detox vacationing, herewith, to keep your mind off the heat, some juicy iNews, aka Dark (and Light) Tales from the Cyber Side – yet more extraordinary, hard-to-believe stories from the world of cybersecurity.
The gaming community will no doubt recall how, this spring, Axie Infinity, the online crypto-game (perhaps most notable for permitting virtual winnings to be exchanged into real money), suffered one of the largest robberies of all time. It appears highly likely that North Korean hackers broke into the Ronin blockchain that controls the game, and proceeded to steal around $625 million (the exact figure varies depending on the source) from users’ accounts! The incident went unannounced for a time, highlighting the vulnerability of the game’s security system, and putting the reputation of its developer behind – Sky Mavis – on the line too.
Oh my gigantic sum! But wait – that’s not all; there’s more!…
Earlier this month it was revealed precisely how the hackers managed to break into the blockchain. Are you sitting down?!…
Several months ago fake employees of a fake company on LinkedIn sent info about fake job vacancies to employees of Sky Mavis. A senior Axie Infinity developer decided to apply. He even got through several rounds of (fake) interviews, after which he was offered an extremely attractive (fake) salary and benefits package. Basically, he was made an offer he couldn’t refuse.
Said offer eventually arrived in the developer’s inbox in the form of a pdf document, which he had no qualms about downloading and opening on his work computer. And that was that – the bad guys were in. Henceforth it was all just a matter of technique: an espionage program infiltrated Ronin, via which they were able to seize four of the nine validators that protect the network. Access to the fifth validator (needed to complete the hack and then steal all the money) was gained by the hackers via the Axie Decentralized Autonomous Organization – a group set up to support the gaming ecosystem. Result – bingo; jackpot!