How about a $2,650,859.80 fee to send $86,964.50? It seems absurd but this sometimes happens. And there are many cases especially in the crypto realms where a user “mistakenly” pays a premium to send minuscule amounts. But this time around, things are a little bit different, even startling.
Is This A Hack?
First went the $2,650,859.80 mega fee for 350 ETH or $86,964.50.
Then a few hours later, another $751,541 worth of ETH was moved for $538,876 in transaction fees.
While the general argument is that this was a “fat finger” incident—a costlier one, there are skeptics like Dovey Wan of Primitive Crypto who wants Chainaly-sis–a blockchain monitoring firm who specializes in tracking on-chain transactions, to get involved.
She’s not convinced that these are accidents but rather isolated events with hacking traits.
WOW another abnormal ETH transaction with over 2K ETH fee just emerged, following the previous two incidences each with over 10K ETH fee
This to me is NOT a bug, more like a MESSAGE. A whild guess us certain exchange/wallet/ETH services is being “kidnapped” by hacker (explain👇🏻 pic.twitter.com/gZSL7V5AoM
— Dovey 以德服人 Wan 🪐🦖 (@DoveyWan) June 12, 2020
She explains that while this can be a ploy by an individual (or a group) to launder money, it is a primitive one that is not only hard to pull but since it is a high profile transaction, the community will be fixated and curious to know further details of the transaction.
Besides, the sender must first liaise with the mining pool for the money to be plowed back and cycled to his/their hands. SparkPool was the lucky miner and received $2.6 million in fees which is then distributed to its miners.
We are further investigating the incident of unusually high tx fee, and you are welcome to provide clues to [email protected] SparkPool has had the experience of handling similar issues properly. There will be a solution in the end. https://t.co/mZc49Q0Y4r
— SparkPool.eth (@sparkpool_eth) June 10, 2020
The hacker, she adds, plans to heap pressure on the exchange/financial service by tossing their assets until they agree for a ransom.
“Exchange or other service being hacked: hacker can move the coin but only to a list of certain addresses which are whitelisted (or other unknown constraints) hence by “tossing” exchange asset might pressure exchange side to settle with a ransom.”
Ethereum (ETH) Mining Pool May Be Hacked?
Interestingly, her analysis of the first two “incidences” revealed that the ETH moved were from a busy hot wallet with lots of inflows and outflows. Most likely, this wallet is owned by a mining pool or a financial service.
And she is finding support.
Soon after posting her views on Twitter, a user said an ETH mining pool had been hacked and $1.3 million stolen. These were split as $751,541 in the transferred amount and $538,876 that was paid as fees.
Soon after the alleged hack, the said account was retired but the receiver address has been discovered to be a notorious node hijacker. The hacker had access for over 1.5 hours and sent a dozen transactions of what appears to be the greatest mining pool heist to date.
Looks like @MiningPoolHub was hacked for ~$1.3M USD, $750k tx sent with a $550k fee. They retire the account 2 hours later.
Receiving address appears to be a known node hijacker (check Disquis comments). https://t.co/by23k2eh83
— tk (@tomkysar) June 12, 2020