Balancer’s $2.1M Breach Impacts Pools Across Ethereum, Fantom, and Optimism

Blockchain security firm PeckShield Inc. has reported a significant discrepancy in the initial loss estimates related to the Balancer ($BAL) platform. According to a recent tweet by PeckShield, the loss, which also involves Beethoven X, is now believed to be greater than $2.1 million. This affects multiple pools across platforms such as Ethereum, Fantom Foundation, and Optimism Foundation.

The Balancer team had previously alerted its community to withdraw liquidity from the affected vaults. Their initial estimate suggested that “only 0.08% of total TVL ($565,199) remains at risk.” However, PeckShield’s analysis indicates that this figure might have been “seriously mis-calculated.”

In a related post dated August 27, Balancer acknowledged an exploit linked to a specific vulnerability. While they have implemented mitigation procedures to minimize risks, they were unable to pause the affected pools. As a preventive measure, Balancer urged users to withdraw from the impacted liquidity pools.

The current location of the stolen funds amounting to $2.1 million is yet to be ascertained.

For those unfamiliar, PeckShield Inc. is a renowned blockchain security and data analytics company, while Balancer is a platform that allows users to create or add liquidity to customizable pools and earn trading fees.

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British Army Recovers Twitter & YouTube Accounts following Crypto Scam Hack

The British Army became the latest culprit of crypto scams engulfing the market after hackers breached its YouTube and Twitter accounts on July 3. 

Despite regaining control, the army’s accounts were used to post non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and cryptocurrencies after being briefly hacked. The British Army tweeted:

“Apologies for the temporary interruption to our feed. We will conduct a full investigation and learn from this incident. Thanks for following us and normal service will now resume.”

Following the breach, various NFT posts were made on the British Army’s Twitter feed, which had been renamed Bapesclan. 

On the other hand, the hackers changed the army’s YouTube account to Ark Invest and shared crypto videos. 

With 177,000 subscribers on YouTube and 362,000 followers on Twitter, the hackers wanted to capitalize on the army’s large following, but their plans were thwarted, and investigations are underway.

The Ministry of Defence stated:

“The breach of the Army’s Twitter and YouTube accounts that occurred earlier today has been resolved and an investigation is underway. The Army takes information security extremely seriously and until their investigation is complete it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

In 2020, Twitter went haywire after news of a Bitcoin scam hack targeting multiple high-profile figures such as Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Joe Biden, and Jeff Bezos broke out. 

It was later established that Graham Ivan Clark was the teenage hacker behind the Twitter hack after he pleaded guilty in a Florida court, Blockchain.News reported. 

Despite the percentage of crypto transaction volumes used for crime reduction, more needs to be done to stem scams in this sector, given that hacking is becoming rampant. 

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At Least 6,000 Coinbase Accounts Exposed In Hack

Coinbase has released a breach notification letter this week saying that a minimum of 6,000 user accounts were victim to hackers. The exchange has stated that the breach took place between March and May of this year.

What We Know

The letter notes that unauthorized third parties exploited Coinbase’s SMS account recovery process and transferred user funds to accounts outside of Coinbase. However, the company added that in order to do so, those third parties needed to have email addresses, passwords and phone numbers – as well as email access.

Coinbase believes that users fell victim to a phishing attack, or some sort of equivalent, in order to have this information exposed, and that there was no evidence to support that the information was taken directly from Coinbase. The exchange states that account recovery protocols around SMS were updated after Coinbase discovered the issue.

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The letter closes that some accounts have already been reimbursed and that all accounts would be fully compensated equal to any losses incurred. The letter was also posted on the California Attorney General website.

Since going public earlier in the year, COIN has faced substantial headwinds, with less-than-stellar stock market performance. | Source: NASDAQ: COIN on

Related Reading | Bitcoin Price Blasts Off With 10% Move, But Is This The Start Of More?

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Safety First

While the amount of hacked crypto has not been disclosed, Coinbase’s immediacy in restoring user funds is reassuring, but comes at a time where a number of stories have been hitting the headlines around hacks and vulnerabilities.

In recent days, Compound Finance issued a governance rule that had a small piece of faulty code that resulted in inappropriate token distribution, putting over $80M worth of COMP tokens at risk. Just a few days prior, DeFi protocol pNetwork lost over $12M to hackers.

It’s also not the first sticky situation for Coinbase recently, either. Last week, pressure from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was enough to totally sideline the company’s anticipated interest-generating product, Lend. That came just a few weeks after a blog post and corresponding long-winded tweet thread from Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, expressing frustration in communications with the SEC, and describing  the agency as “sketchy.”

Additionally, the major crypto exchange has faced challenges with the impacts of potential infrastructure legislation and USDC drama in recent months.

Crypto’s safety and security has substantially improved over time, but that doesn’t mean that no one is vulnerable. Our team at NewsBTC reminds you to always use two-factor authentification, ideally via an authenticator, never share your seed phrase, use platforms that you trust, and be on the lookout for suspicious emails that may be trying to phish.

Related Reading | Polygon Founder Says Ethereum Is Set To Replace Bitcoin As The Global Standard

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CFTC Examines Whether Binance Illegally Brokered Trades for US Users

Key Takeaways

  • The CFTC has not formally accused Binance of illegally brokering trades for U.S. residents.
  • Social media content indicates that U.S. residents can indeed use Binance through VPNs, but it is unclear if Binance is accountable for this.
  • Binance was accused last year of evading U.S. regulations, and Coinbase has implied that the exchange has lax compliance.

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The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in the U.S. is investigating Binance to determine whether the exchange illegally facilitated trading for U.S. residents.

Binance Under Investigation

Binance isn’t registered with the CFTC and is not authorized to allow derivatives trading by U.S. residents. The U.S. regulator views cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum as commodities, giving the agency jurisdiction over trading products derived from those commodities.

As of yet, the CFTC has not leveled any accusations. However, the probe indicates that U.S. regulators are keeping a sharp eye on Binance.

In November, a Forbes article alleged that Binance might have established a U.S. subsidiary company to evade U.S. regulations deliberately. Binance denied that the documents leaked by Forbes came from the exchange, suing multiple Forbes journalists before dropping the case last month.

U.S. residents are blocked from using the Binance website directly, although content on Reddit and YouTube indicates that users can get around this by using a VPN.

“We take a collaborative approach in working with regulators around the world and we take our compliance obligations very seriously,” Binance said.

While crypto adoption has come leaps and bounds in recent years, regulators have only just begun to catch up with the developing technology. The CFTC recently sued BitMEX for failing to register as a broker, and rival exchange Coinbase is also under CFTC investigation, ending margin trading last year to comply with CFTC rules.

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In a February 2021 Form S-1 filing with the SEC, Coinbase called Binance out for an apparent lack of regulatory compliance. The filing stated Coinbase competes with “several companies that solely focus on the crypto market and have varying degrees of regulatory adherence, such as Binance.”

Binance exists as multiple entities headquartered in different jurisdictions worldwide, making regulation and investigation more complex than with most companies. However, recent CFTC activity suggests that regulators will not be easily dissuaded.

Disclosure: The author held Bitcoin at the time of press.

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