The Ethereum-enabled cryptocurrency exchange EtherDelta was hacked on Wednesday, falling into a phishing scheme.
The hacker made away with approximately 305 Ether, which at the time would have been valued at around $250,000. Currently, Ethereum is trading at $796.30 (making the value of the stolen Ether closer to $242,871 at this time).
There’s no doubt that this is bad news – nobody likes to be stolen from, but things could have been a whole lot worse. Why? Because EtherDelta operates as a decentralized exchange platform, which means that there are no actual direct keys to any funds on the exchange. The only way for a hacker to get a hold of funds would be to operate a phishing scheme, which this hacker did, but phishing relies entirely on how many people fall for it.
The hacker set up a fake website that mimicked EtherDelta’s exchange by hijacking its domain name but couldn’t actually access the exchange itself or any of its data or smart contracts. Those that were unlucky enough to enter the data for their keys (which is how they access their individual funds) into this fake site would have been the ones who were stolen from. Any other user wasn’t in any danger from the attack.
So far there doesn’t appear to be any news on the progress of tracking the culprit, but I’m sure EtherDelta is looking into this. The chances of recovering any of the stolen Ether, however, seem pretty slim as very little traceable information on the hacker was left. Perhaps authorities will be able to use wallet addresses to help track down the stolen Ether, which has been done in the past when other exchanges experienced hacks, but because those were of a different kind of hack, even that may not be possible in this case.
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