Harmony's Ethereum Bridge Suffered $100 Million Exploit Resulting in FBI Investigation

Harmony One with hacker

Harmony not in harmony

Exploits in crypto are all the rage these days, and sharded blockchain Harmony ONE is the latest victim. Yesterday, a hacker absconded with $100 million in stolen ETH from their "trustless" Ethereum Horizon bridge. As a result, the price of ONE, the native coin of Harmony, plummeted.

Showing the seriousness of the issue, Harmony issued a series of statements in a Medium article explaining the hack:

"Immediately following the attack, multiple cyber security partners, exchange partners, and the FBI were notified and requested to assist with an investigation in identifying the culprit and methods to retrieve stolen assets." It continued: "The team has attempted communication with the hacker with an embedded message in a transaction to the culprit’s address."

It is never a good situation when you have to negotiate with a hacker to recover stolen funds. Furthermore, it seems that the Harmony dev team (among other investigators) are still figuring out how the exploit occurred in the first place.

Harmony is playing a risky game

This is bad timing for Harmony, as they recently announced a new data shard on the network completely dedicated to gaming on June 21st. The trouble is that gaming introduces a great amount of new potential vulnerabilities to the network.

Earlier in March, popular Ethereum gaming dapp Axie Infinity suffered a massive exploit to its Ronin Bridge, resulting in $625 million of damages, one of the largest in DeFi history. If Harmony is already suffering exploits to an existing bridge, a new data shard dedicated to gaming is bound to be a risky endeavor.

Harmony is proving that DeFi is an incredibly risky field. The Harmony team needs to beef up their security instead of focusing on a "mainnet that runs Ethereum applications with 2-second transaction finality and 100 times lower fees" to survive the crypto winter.