Ripple (XRP) Hack: Binance Seizes Stolen funds Worth $4.2M

Ibrahim Ajibade
Published: Feb 2, 2024, 04:48 GMT+00:00

Binance CEO Richard Teng announced that the exchange has frozen accounts with Ripple (XRP) coins worth $4.2 million of funds stolen in a recent hack.

Binance seizes funds from ripple XRP hack

Key Insights:

  • On January 30, Ripple experienced a significant security breach, resulting in the theft of approximately 213 million XRP tokens.
  • On-chain data provided by TRM Labs identifies several addresses and shows how the stolen funds were laundered through multiple cryptocurrency exchanges. 
  • On Feb 1, Binance CEO Richard Teng announced that the exchange has frozen accounts with nearly 8.3 million Ripple XRP ($4.2 million) of the stolen funds.

In a recent Ripple hack, over 213 million XRP tokens were stolen and laundered through various exchanges, further emphasizing security concerns in the cryptocurrency space.

The Ripple Hack: Details and Initial Responses

Ripple, the blockchain-based digital payment network, has experienced a significant security breach, resulting in the theft of approximately 213 XRP tokens, worth around $112.5 million.

The stolen funds were quickly laundered through various prominent cryptocurrency exchanges, including MEXC, Gate, Binance, Kraken, OKX, HTX, HitBTC, and others. 

This incident has sparked further apprehensions regarding the security protocols of digital assets and the accountability of exchanges in thwarting such unauthorized access and breaches.

Tracking the Stolen XRP Funds

Investigations by blockchain security platform, TRM Labs shows that the funds were stolen from the source XRP wallet address rJNLz3A1qPKfWCtJLPhmMZAfBkutC2Qojm.

XRP $120 million Hack, Jan 30, 2024 Source: TRMLabs
XRP $120 million Hack, Jan 2024 Source: TRMLabs

The stolen XRP tokens were quickly transferred and laundered through multiple crypto exchanges in a series of transactions involving multiple addresses. 

According to TRMLabs investigations, the key addresses identified in the laundering process include:

  • rGhR13XyM43WdDaSMznHd5rZ4cJatybvEg,
  • rHQVKntyfkDCPhEBL2ctryuEAkDZgckmmV,
  • rLsUemhuBZtF44rqqzneb2F9JgyrRYYd4t,
  • rKPERax7t9iFvT3RHXn5nifyNpzp9a4hBa,
  • rpjs4HLX1gJoEenH69PsQmXaXY22QhCYAT,
  • rLRhugR4ysNa2xkt4E6fKN8krs9jatCp6w
  • rnCyeUNvfDbtTagGEPjBfTCBz6EqJjf2Uj
  • rHVjfYzTaB8MzSoQGqpzH9barZr85QsZW7. 

Although efforts are ongoing to track these transactions and recover the stolen funds, the complexity of the laundering process deployed now presents significant challenges.

Binance CEO Richard Teng Announces $4.2M Stolen Funds Frozen

In a Feb 1 statement, Binance CEO Richard Teng confirmed that the exchange froze multiple accounts linked to the stolen XRP funds. At time of announcement the funds frozen tottalled 8.3 million XRP coins (~$4.2 million).

Teng promised his company would continue working with Ripple and relevant parties to facilitate a thorough recovery of the funds siphoned by unknown exploiters.

We will continue to support Ripple in their investigations and their efforts to retrieve back the funds, including closely monitoring the majority of funds still in the exploiter’s external wallets in case they deposit to Binance. – Richard Teng, Binance CEO

The Binance CEO also extended gratitude to blockchain sleuth ZachXBT, who first flagged the suspicious transactions on Jan. 31. The popular crypto influencer, Zach had initially published findings of the 213 million XRP theft and subsequent distribution of the funds across exchanges in an attempt to launder the loot.

Ripple co-founder and executive chairman Chris Larsen clarified that the funds were his shortly after. Larsen disclosed unauthorized access to his personal accounts but withheld specifics on how the breach happened.

The event has been odd since it deviated from the general hack pattern, draining funds as fast as possible and utilizing crypto mixers like Tornado Cash to obfuscate footprints. The hack occurred over an extended period, and exploiters stole XRP for at least 10 hours before depositing on centralized exchanges like Binance.

The latest Ripple hack is a stark reminder of the security vulnerabilities in the cryptocurrency world, emphasizing the need for enhanced security measures and vigilant monitoring by crypto exchanges and custody services providers. As the investigation continues, the incident serves as a cautionary tale about the risks associated with digital asset storage and transfer.

About the Author

Ibrahim Ajibade Ademolawa is a seasoned research analyst with a background in Commercial Banking and Web3 startups, specializing in DeFi and TradFi analysis. He holds a B.A. in Economics and is pursuing an MSc in Blockchain.

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