Polygon, Fantom Users Targeted in Ankr Gateway Hack

Polygon, Fantom Users Targeted in Ankr Gateway Hack

Analysis

Polygon, Fantom Users Targeted in Ankr Gateway Hack

by
Chris Williams

Jul. 1, 2022

Ankr confirmed that it was “investigating some reported issues” as news of the attack surfaced.

Shutterstock cover by Sashkin (edited by Mariia Kozyr)

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The hack produced a popup window that encouraged Polygon and Fantom users to enter their wallet seed phrase. 

Hackers Compromise Gateways to Polygon, Fantom

Two Ankr RPC gateways for accessing Polygon and Fantom have been compromised. 

Hackers exploited a vulnerability to attack the node infrastructure firm’s gateways to Polygon and Fantom Friday. Users who had accessed the Layer 1 networks via Ankr’s endpoints were presented with a popup window that tried to trick them into entering their wallet seed phrase. “Funds are at risk,” the malicious note read, accompanied by a link to a website prompting users to enter their seed phrase. By gathering seed phrases, the hackers could gain access to their targets’ wallets to steal their funds. 

Ankr provides access to Proof-of-Stake blockchains by offering node endpoints, staking services, and other products. It’s considered a crucial pillar of Web3 infrastructure alongside other similar projects like Alchemy and Infura. However, like most other node operators, it’s a centralized entity owned by a company rather than a DAO.

The pseudonymous security researcher CIA Officer alerted users to the hack on Twitter Friday, before Polygon’s chief information security officer Mudit Gupta put out a message urging users to use Alchemy or an alternative node provider until the bug is fixed. Gupta then added that Polygon would “work closely with Ankr to ensure this does not happen again” and teased plans of a decentralized RPC gateway project. Ankr also confirmed the attack on Twitter, saying it was “investigating some reported issues.” 

The full scale of the exploit is currently unknown, and Ankr is yet to post a full report. In the meantime, the team has directed Polygon and Fantom users to two alternative RPC endpoints.

Update: Ankr has confirmed that the affected RPC gateways have been “fully restored.”

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned ETH, MATIC, FTM, and several other cryptocurrencies. 

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