Amber Group has replicated the recent Wintermute hack, the Hong Kong-based crypto finance service provider announced on its blog. The process was quick and easy, using hardware that was easily accessible to consumers. Wintermute lost more than $160 million in a private key hack on September 20.
Reproducing the hack can help “build a better understanding of the spectrum of the attack surface across Web 3.0,” Amber Group said. Just a few hours after the hack of the wintermute cryptocurrency market maker, Based in the UK, the researchers they could blame the generator Profanity Vanity Addresses.
One analyst suggested the hack was an inside job, but that conclusion was rejected by Wintermute and others. The Profanity vulnerability was already known before the Wintermute hack.
— wishful cynic (@EvgenyGaevoy) September 27, 2022
Amber Group was able to reproduce the hack in less than 48 hours after a preliminary setup that took less than 11 hours. Amber Group used a Macbook M1 with 16 GB of RAM in their research. This was much faster, and used a more modest team, than a previous analyst had estimated the hack would take, Amber Group noted.
Amber Group detailed the process it used in the replay, from obtaining the public key to rebuilding the private one, and described the vulnerability in how Profanity generates random numbers for the keys it produces. The group notes that its description “is not intended to be complete.” And he adds, repeating a message that has already been spread frequently:
“As is well documented by now – your funds are not sure if your address was generated by Profanity […] Always handle your private keys with caution. Don’t trust, check.”
The Amber Group blog has been technically oriented since its inception, and has already addressed security issues. The group reached a valuation of USD 3,000 million in February after a Series B+ financing round.
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