back to article That's a signature move: How $320m in Ether was stolen from crypto biz Wormhole

Wormhole, a protocol for connecting different blockchains, lost about $320m worth of Ether (ETH), thanks to poorly crafted code. "The wormhole network was exploited for 120k wETH," the DeFi biz said via Twitter on Wednesday. "wETH" stands for "wrapped Ether," an intermediary token used to transfer Ether across blockchains …

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    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Even bigger than when they replaced the useful copper with useless gold, and rode off laughing in their chariots.

    2. Def Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Because nobody ever stole cash or gold before.

    3. theAltoid

      Gold

      How is separating a currency from an element a scam?

      1. Def Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Gold

        Presumably because fiat currency isn't backed by anything tangible and is therefore worthless? So I guess it's pretty lucky nobody fell for that and we have a monetary system that isn't based on hopes and dreams... Waaaait a minute...

        1. emfiliane

          Re: Gold

          Good luck eating or defending your property with bars of a soft metal, let alone exchanging paper notes that *pinkie promise* they can be exchanged for gold, if the government ever did collapse.

          The gold standard always had to be based on faith and credit in national financial stability, exactly the same as fiat currency is. It's not a magic potion that magically becomes gold as soon as you wish it.

  2. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Nominative determinism

    The service is literally called "Wormhole." What did people think would happen to their "investments"?

    1. ShadowSystems Silver badge

      Re: Nominative determinism

      The coin is called *Ether* FFS, how much more vapourware can you get?!?!???

      *FacePalm*

      1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

        Re: Nominative determinism

        The coin is called *Ether* FFS, how much more vapourware can you get?

        If you know Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas using Ether makes you worry about the bats.

        1. 4d3fect

          Re: Nominative determinism

          ..or at least makes you helpless and irresponsible.

    2. Sam not the Viking Silver badge

      Re: Nominative determinism

      Did anyone else read that as 'Womble'?

      As I recall, they too collected tokens blowing around the aether.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    Stupid

    If you're stupid enough to own coins don't compound the stupidity by letting some cobbled together DeFi "business" hold them for you.

  4. Skiron
    FAIL

    Heinz 57?

    Reading that, HOW many more of these "bitcoins" variants are there? No wonder energy prices are going through the roof.

    The bloke who invented it all should be shot.

  5. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
    FAIL

    And furthermore

    https://web3isgoinggreat.com/

    1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

      Re: And furthermore

      Thanks for posting that - great site.

  6. YetAnotherJoeBlow

    Correction?

    blackchain?

    1. Chris G

      Re: Correction?

      A Freudian typo?

  7. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Windows

    So, ETH was lost to bad code, and now new ETH has magically been added

    How am I supposed to give any credit to an industry where this kind of shenanigans is going on ?

    They have just proven that Ethereum is actually just whatever they want it to be. It's certainly not a monetary value of any reality.

    When any idiot with a keyboard can create a new brand of funny money you don't have a market, you have a clown act.

    But you keep on Sticking it to The Man.

    <mutter> <mutter> damn fools <mutter>

    1. Def Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: So, ETH was lost to bad code, and now new ETH has magically been added

      Err, no. New ethereum wasn't created. They either purchased more ethereum to cover the losses, or moved it from a wallet that already contained ethereum they had bought previously.

      1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

        Re: So, ETH was lost to bad code, and now new ETH has magically been added

        So this should really be called the Blue Peter solution - "Multi-million dollar theft? No problem, here's some we bought earlier."

        If "backers of the project" are happy to stump $300m in losses overnight, there has to be a damn good reason to keep that Chicago based company running ...

        1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

          Re: So, ETH was lost to bad code, and now new ETH has magically been added

          So this should really be called the Blue Peter solution

          I have an NFT made from squeezy bottles and sticky backed plastic. Incredible value at a mere $1 million.

    2. jmch Silver badge

      Re: So, ETH was lost to bad code, and now new ETH has magically been added

      "How am I supposed to give any credit to an industry where this kind of shenanigans is going on ?"

      The problem was buggy code, that has nothing to do with crypto per se. For example IIRC hackers exploited a flaw in SWIFT to make off with many millions a few years back

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: So, ETH was lost to bad code, and now new ETH has magically been added

        What's the percentage of Dunning-Krugerands stolen via buggy S/W vs similar losses of fiat currency?

        1. Def Silver badge

          Re: So, ETH was lost to bad code, and now new ETH has magically been added

          similar losses of fiat currency?

          Apparently $100B of Covid relief fund was stolen through fraud last year alone in just the US:

          https://www.cnbc.com/2021/12/21/criminals-have-stolen-nearly-100-billion-in-covid-relief-funds-secret-service.html

          1. mpi

            Re: So, ETH was lost to bad code, and now new ETH has magically been added

            Fraud happens regardless of the currency system used. If humanity used seashells to buy groceries, someone would still try to sell non-existing bread to people.

            The question is: How much money was unrecoverably lost due to buggy software.

          2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

            Re: So, ETH was lost to bad code, and now new ETH has magically been added

            Where US leads, we Blighty follows...

            https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/feb/05/pulled-by-current-tory-indolence-britain-flounders-in-sea-of-dirty-money

      2. MiguelC Silver badge

        Re: So, ETH was lost to bad code, and now new ETH has magically been added

        Attackers didn't exploit a flaw in SWIFT, they exploited flaws on the internal systems of banks using SWIFT - there's quite a difference

      3. jotheberlock

        Re: So, ETH was lost to bad code, and now new ETH has magically been added

        And yet this sort of thing seems to happen way, WAY more often to crypto people than people relying on SWIFT. Funny that.

  8. sreynolds Silver badge

    How could anyone ever thing that this was a good idea?

    I mean building upon ether using smart contracts is like derivatives of derivatives.

    1. MiguelC Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: How could anyone ever thing that this was a good idea?

      derivatives of derivatives of nothing

  9. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse

    Total scam...

    This seemingly happens every single time.

    1. Set up an unregulated crypto currency and an exchange.

    2. Have lots of sad idiots pile cash into it.

    3. Have the crypto cash "mysteriously stolen".

    It's a scam.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Total scam...

      Or, "anything complicated enough to look like magic is probably a scam". Cui bono should apply but this is one of those things where people are prepared to believe in magic.

      Cryptocurrencies, etc. seem to feed two urges in people: "mining" feels like money for nothing; unregulated means the government can't get its hands on it. You'll never stop people piling into something for the first and as for second: while it's certainly true that banks get up all kinds of shenanigans, the reason we have regulation is because before it things were a lot worse!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sorry, but there's a Trade Description Act violation here

    Wormhole?

    It should have been called Black Hole. Maybe that's already trademarked by another, slightly-too-honest crypto scammer?

  11. Charlie van Becelaere
    Facepalm

    Why do I keep remembering this?

    Sticking it to the man? To Serve Man?

    Whichever, It's a cookbook!

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