It’s happened again, folks. Another hack is in the books. This time, the victim is Mango Markets, a trading platform situated atop the Solana blockchain. At the time of writing, it appears as much as $116 million has been stolen through what’s known as a “flash loan” attack.
Mango Markets Loses More Than $100 Million
This kind of attack happens in a decentralized setting. A hacker or cyberthief takes out a flash loan and then manipulates crypto prices on a single exchange, only to sell them to another. In this situation involving Mango Markets, the hacker used two separate accounts to hike the price of what’s known as Mango coin, the official token of the Mango Markets platform. They could thus alter the collateral they held in the platform and later obtain loans from the Mango treasury.
This caused the price of Mango coin to shoot up by around 1,000 percent in just a matter of minutes, thus boosting the collateral in the hacker’s account. The person in question has now offered Solana a trade: he (or she) will return the funds to a designated address granted those in charge are willing to repay a bad debt that was incurred over the summer that was utilized to aid a failing Solana project known as Solend.
While attempting to negotiate with the blockchain network’s executives, the hacker stated:
The Mango treasury will be used to cover any remaining bad debt in the protocol, and all users without bad debt will be made whole. By voting for this proposal, Mango token holders agree to pay this bounty and pay off the bad debt with the treasury and waive any potential claims against accounts with bad debt and will not pursue any criminal investigations or freezing of funds once the tokens are sent back.
Crypto exchanges and related platforms appear to constantly be in danger of getting hacked. This raises the topic of regulation, which has stirred heavy arguments throughout the crypto space for the past several years. On the one hand, regulation goes against everything that digital currencies stand for. They were built to give users financial independence and autonomy, and no prying eyes or third parties could make decisions on their behalf.
Further Manipulation Continues
At the same time, it appears that without some degree of regulation in play – at least to punish those who commit digital crimes and the like – the cryptocurrency space will never reach the level of legitimacy it needs to become a mainstream financial arena.
The hacker appears to be manipulating the situation even further, having cast more than 33 million votes in favor of his/her own proposal. However, the voting space is not closed yet, as roughly 67 million votes are needed for things to move in this direction.