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Bittensor Suspends Operations Following $8M Theft

On July 3, Bittensor, a network that connects machine learning models globally, was forced to suspend operations due to a significant security breach. Ala Shaabana, the co-founder of Bittensor, confirmed that malicious actors drained wallets, resulting in a loss of approximately $8 million in digital assets. 

Bittensor Hack Results TAO Token Value Falls by 15%

This incident was identified by the pseudonymous on-chain investigator ZachXBT, who noted that the theft might be linked to a private key leakage.

The compromised address “5FbW” reportedly lost 32,000 Bittensor (TAO) tokens. This follows a previous security incident on June 1, where a wallet lost $11.2 million of TAO tokens.

Following the recent theft, the value of TAO tokens declined by 15%. However, after the Bittensor team reassured it about ongoing security measures, the market saw a minor recovery. The project’s Discord channel communicated the team’s effort to strengthen security protocols and mitigate future risks.

Hackers Shift Tactics, Private Key Leaks Surge

Recent data indicates a shift in hackers’ strategies. Mriganka Pattnaik, co-founder and CEO of Merkle Science, stated that the focus has moved from smart contract vulnerabilities to more direct attacks, such as private key leaks.

These leaks are often the result of phishing scams or inadequate security measures for key storage. While losses due to intelligent contract issues have significantly decreased, dropping by 92% to $179 million in 2023 from $2.6 billion in 2022, the threat from other vulnerabilities persists.

Crypto Security Woes Persist Despite Market Growth

Despite a significant market recovery earlier this year, fueled by the U.S. SEC’s approval of Bitcoin ETFs, which increased the sector’s valuation from $1.76 trillion in February to $2.32 trillion, the crypto industry still faces major security challenges., PeckShield reported that Btcturk suffered the largest crypto-related hack in June, with losses estimated at around $100.25 million.

In the first quarter of 2024 alone, the crypto world lost $336 million to Web3 hackers and fraud, a 23% decrease from the previous year. Remarkably, recovery efforts in specific cases have successfully reclaimed $73.9 million of stolen Web3 capital.

As the crypto industry evolves, it remains vulnerable to attacks that undermine its stability and slows its broader adoption. The recent incidents underline the urgent need for enhanced security measures and robust protocols to safeguard digital assets against evolving threats.