Crypto heist: Thunder Terminal loses 86.5 ETH, 439 SOL worth $239,000

Cryptocurrency exchange Thunder Terminal suffered a security breach on December 27, resulting in the theft of 86.5 ETH and 439 SOL, valued at over $239,000.

The incident specifically targeted the decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol operating on Ethereum, Solana, and other blockchain networks. The hacker threatened to delete users’ private key data, sparking concerns about asset safety.

In response, the platform’s team has reassured users and committed to refunding the affected funds with zero percent fees.

“All funds lost will be refunded in full, and affected users will be given 0% fees and $100k in credits each,” Thunder said, as quoted by crypto news portal The Block.

The breach involved unauthorized access to a MongoDB connection URL, allowing the exploiter to manipulate session tokens and conduct withdrawals. While the team claimed that only 114 wallets out of 14,000 were impacted, the hacker asserted control over private key data, expressing an intention to delete it.

“No private keys nor wallets were compromised…We do not store any private keys, so the attacker does not have access to any wallets,” said Thunder in a statement posted on X.

“Desktop wallets were not affected. Less than 1% of wallets on our platform were affected as a result of this attack.”

Contrary to Thunder’s assurances on user data safety, a message from the attacker on Etherscan contradicts these claims, branding them as “all lies.” The exploiter demands a ransom of 50 ETH ($110,000) in exchange for the purportedly compromised data.

The Thunder team is in active communication with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and is open to negotiations with the exploiter. Failing an agreement, the team may resort to legal action.

A year of crypto thefts

The Thunder exploit potentially marks the last security breach of 2023, a year that saw thefts surpassing $2 billion in assets. Notably, blockchain security consultancy firm Mixin Network suffered the largest attack, resulting in a loss of over $200 million worth of digital assets.

Introduced by Eversify Labs in late 2022, Thunder Terminal is a trading platform designed for swift transactions across various blockchain networks. The platform is a competitor to Telegram trading bots like Unibot, which gained popularity during a marketwide craze for memecoins.

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