Hackers steal $130 million from Cream Finance; the company’s 3rd hack this year
Image: The Record, Cream Finance
Catalin Cimpanu October 27, 2021

Hackers steal $130 million from Cream Finance; the company’s 3rd hack this year

Hackers steal $130 million from Cream Finance; the company’s 3rd hack this year

  • Hackers exploit bug in Cream Finance flash loaning system to steal all Ethereum-based tokens.
  • The value of the stolen funds was estimated at around $130 million, Cream Finance said.
  • The incident marks the third time this year Cream Finance got hacked, after incidents in February and August.

Hackers have stolen an estimated $130 million worth of cryptocurrency assets from Cream Finance, a decentralized finance (DeFi) platform that allows users to loan and speculate on cryptocurrency price variations.

The incident, detected earlier today by blockchain security firms PeckShield and SlowMist, was confirmed by the Cream Finance team earlier today.

The attackers are believed to have found a vulnerability in the platform’s lending system —called flash loaning— and used it to steal all of Cream’s assets and tokens running on the Ethereum blockchain, according to blockchain security firm BlockSec, which also posted an explanation of the security flaw on Twitter earlier today.

A breakdown of the stolen funds is available below, courtesy of the SlowMist team.

CreamFinance-hack-SlowMist
Image: SlowMist

Roughly six hours after the attack, Cream Finance said it fixed the bug exploited in the hack with the help of cryptocurrency platform Yearn.

Even if the attacker’s initial wallet, used to exfiltrate a large chunk of the funds, has been identified, the funds have already been moved to new accounts, and there appears to be a small chance the stolen crypto can be tracked down and returned to the platform.

Third time’s a charm

Today’s hack marks the third time Cream Finance has been hacked this year after the company lost $37 million in February and another $29 million in August.

All attacks were flash loan exploits, a common way through which most DeFi platforms have been hacked over the past two years.

DeFi related hacks have accounted for 76% of all major hacks in 2021, and users have lost more than $474 million to attacks on DeFi platforms this year, CipherTrace said in a report in August.

Similarly, DeFi hacks also made up 21% of all the 2020 cryptocurrency hacks and stolen funds after being almost inexistent a year before, in 2019, the same CipherTrace said in a report last year.

The Cream heist also marks the second-largest cryptocurrency hack this year after DeFi platform Poly Network lost $600 million in August. However, the individual behind the Poly hack eventually returned all the stolen funds two weeks later on the promise the company won’t seek charges.

Catalin Cimpanu is a cybersecurity reporter for The Record. He previously worked at ZDNet and Bleeping Computer, where he became a well-known name in the industry for his constant scoops on new vulnerabilities, cyberattacks, and law enforcement actions against hackers.