Binance Freezes $4.2 Million in XRP Following $112 Million Ripple Wallet Hack

In a significant security incident that unfolded on January 31, 2024, Binance, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges, has taken swift action by freezing $4.2 million worth of XRP linked to the $112 million hack on Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen’s wallet. This event marks the most substantial cryptocurrency hack of the year.

XRP Ledger developers were quick to notify exchanges about the breach, urging them to closely monitor deposits linked to the affected explorer’s wallets. The attack resulted in the unauthorized access and theft of 213 million XRP, valued at approximately $112.5 million, from Larsen’s wallet.

Binance CEO Richard Teng publicly announced the freeze on social media platform X, expressing gratitude to blockchain investigator ZachXBT and the Ripple team for their collaborative efforts. Meanwhile, Ripple is actively engaging with various cryptocurrency exchanges to freeze the explorer’s address and has reported the incident to law enforcement agencies.

Ripple’s chief, Brad Garlinghouse, reassured the community that Ripple wallets remain secure amid ongoing discussions with exchanges. Teng pledged continued support for Ripple’s investigative endeavors, emphasizing the close monitoring of funds in the explorer’s external wallets. He committed to collaborating with relevant parties and closely monitoring the majority of funds still held in those wallets for potential further activity on Binance.

The security breach, initially flagged by blockchain investigator ZachXBT, revealed a unique aspect as it deviated from typical hacking patterns. The theft unfolded gradually over approximately 10 hours, with the stolen XRP being deposited on various centralized exchanges, including MEXC, Gate.io, Binance, Kraken, OKX, HTX, and HitBTC. Unlike common practices, the exploiters did not quickly drain funds and utilize crypto mixers to obscure their tracks.

ZachXBT shed light on the confusion surrounding the hack, as the Ripple attribution for the affected account was incorrectly tagged as Ripple itself in XRP block explorers XRPScan and Bithomp.

While Binance took immediate action by freezing a portion of the stolen funds, other major exchanges, including OKX and Kraken, have not disclosed whether they have identified or frozen any funds associated with the hack. The cryptocurrency community remains vigilant as the investigation unfolds.

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