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HomeIndustriesBanking & FinanceA Bridge Too Far: Hackers Exploited Orbital Chain Vulnerability, Stealing Over $80...

A Bridge Too Far: Hackers Exploited Orbital Chain Vulnerability, Stealing Over $80 Million in Crypto


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The glittering world of cryptocurrency is often touted as a secure, decentralized haven for financial transactions. However, recent events have revealed that even this digital El Dorado isn’t immune to the clutches of cybercrime.

In a brazen heist that shook the crypto community, hackers breached the Orbit Chain cross-chain bridge and absconded with over $80 million in digital assets.

Crossing the Digital Rubicon:

Orbit Chain acts as a bridge between different blockchain networks, allowing users to transfer assets like Ether (ETH) and Dai (DAI) between them. Unfortunately, it seems the bridge itself had a critical weakness. The perpetrators exploited a vulnerability in the smart contract governing the bridge, enabling them to manipulate transaction fees and siphon off large sums of funds.

A Chain Reaction of Errors:

While the hackers’ ingenuity is undeniable, some argue that certain missteps by Orbit Chain contributed to the success of the attack. These include:

  • Insufficient code audits: Failing to conduct thorough and regular audits of the smart contract code left the vulnerability undetected, offering an open door for malicious actors.
  • Centralized control: Despite being touted as decentralized, certain aspects of Orbit Chain’s bridge reportedly involved centralized control measures, potentially creating points of compromise.
  • Lack of transparency: Limited communication with the community following the attack raised concerns about the chain’s commitment to transparency and accountability.

Lessons Learned in the Rubble:

The Orbit Chain heist serves as a stark reminder of the inherent risks involved in the nascent realm of blockchain technology. While decentralized finance (DeFi) offers exciting possibilities, it also demands a heightened level of vigilance and caution. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Code is law: The immutable nature of smart contracts underscores the importance of meticulous code development and rigorous auditing to eliminate vulnerabilities.
  • Decentralization matters: True decentralization minimizes the risk of single points of failure and empowers the community to hold the project accountable.
  • Transparency is vital: Open communication builds trust and allows the community to work together to address security concerns.

Building a Secure Bridge Forward:

The ramifications of the Orbit Chain attack extend far beyond the stolen millions. It casts a shadow of doubt on the security of cross-chain bridges and highlights the need for robust security measures within the DeFi ecosystem. Moving forward, a multi-pronged approach is crucial:

  • Enhanced security protocols: Implementing multi-signature authorization, time-locked transactions, and bug bounty programs can deter and mitigate potential attacks.
  • Collaborative vigilance: Fostering an active and engaged community that actively scrutinizes code, reports vulnerabilities, and holds projects accountable is vital.
  • Continuous innovation: Research and development into novel security solutions and bridge designs are essential to stay ahead of evolving cyber threats.


The Orbit Chain heist may have dealt a blow to the crypto community’s confidence, but it also presents an opportunity for introspection and growth. By learning from past mistakes, prioritizing security, and embracing collective responsibility, we can build a more secure and resilient DeFi ecosystem, one where bridges span the digital divide without becoming gateways for crime. Only then can the dream of a truly decentralized and secure financial future be realized.

Ouaissou DEMBELE
Ouaissou DEMBELEhttps://cybercory.com
Ouaissou DEMBELE is an accomplished cybersecurity professional and the Editor-In-Chief of cybercory.com. He has over 10 years of experience in the field, with a particular focus on Ethical Hacking, Data Security & GRC. Currently, Ouaissou serves as the Co-founder & Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at Saintynet, a leading provider of IT solutions and services. In this role, he is responsible for managing the company's cybersecurity strategy, ensuring compliance with relevant regulations, and identifying and mitigating potential threats, as well as helping the company customers for better & long term cybersecurity strategy. Prior to his work at Saintynet, Ouaissou held various positions in the IT industry, including as a consultant. He has also served as a speaker and trainer at industry conferences and events, sharing his expertise and insights with fellow professionals. Ouaissou holds a number of certifications in cybersecurity, including the Cisco Certified Network Professional - Security (CCNP Security) and the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), ITIL. With his wealth of experience and knowledge, Ouaissou is a valuable member of the cybercory team and a trusted advisor to clients seeking to enhance their cybersecurity posture.


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