Sky Mavis, the company behind the Axie Infinity blockchain game, expects to return at least part of the cryptocurrency stolen by the attacker for about $ 600 million. But the project team acknowledged that the process will take time, Bloomberg reports
“We assume that some funds will be restored within two years. Two years is a good time for Axie to get more information. We are here to play for a long time,” said Alexander Leonard Larsen, Chief Operating Officer of Sky Mavis.
According to him, the company is working with various law enforcement agencies to track and return tokens, mainly Ethereum. He did not disclose details of the investigation.
Rishav Rai, the chief investigator from the Merkle Science firm specializing in cryptosecurity, noted that cases of recovery of all stolen funds as a result of major attacks are “very rare.” On the other hand, after such incidents, it is extremely difficult for hackers to launder assets.
After hacking the Ronin sidechain, the attacker sent some part of Ethereum to the Tornado Cash mixing service.
However, such tools are not designed for large volumes, and moving assets through various wallets and exchanges is expensive and time-consuming, Rai added.
Larsen confirmed that the hacking was carried out by attacking one of the employees using social engineering methods. The hacker gained access to five of the nine nodes, which allowed unauthorized withdrawal of funds.
Earlier, Sky Mavis promised users to compensate for losses. In early April, the company raised $ 150 million for this purpose from a group of investors led by Binance.
To fully compensate for the stolen cryptocurrency, the firm uses its own funds for $ 450 million. Larsen stressed that the company’s financial position remains strong.
As of March 28, the number of users of the game has decreased by 45% from the peak value of November 2021. The head of Sky Mavis attributed this to a sharp decrease in rewards, which caused an outflow of those who considered participation as a way of earning. At the same time, he acknowledged the possible impact of hacking on the departure of players.
“Undoubtedly, the incident will haunt us for a long time in the future. We feel that we have not met the expectations of users and it is necessary to restore trust. But I think of it as a lesson learned that safety should be a priority,” Larsen said.