It has been reported by blockchain security company PeckShield that the exploit targeted a “flawed liquidity share calculation” in the SPARTA/WBNB liquidity pool, which enabled the attacker to withdraw the funds.
The security expert stated:
“In particular, the specific hack inflates the asset balance of the pool before burning the same amount of pool tokens to claim an unnecessarily large amount of underlying assets. The consequence of this attack results in more than $30M loss from the affected pool.”
However, the nuts and bolts of the attack center around the manipulation of flash loans, which were used to inflate the balance of the pool before burning an equivalent amount of pool tokens.
A flaw in the Sparta Protocol code allowed an attacker to drain $30 million from the SPARTA/WBNB liquidity pool. https://t.co/XRs9I4pZhH — Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph) May 2, 2021
Spartan Protocol tweeted about the exploit by explaining that the “Attacker used $61m in BNB to overcome the pools via […] as yet unknown economic exploit path to remove roughly $30m in funds from the pools.”
What we know so far – *Attacker used $61m in BNB to overcome the pools via a as yet unknown economic exploit path to remove roughly $30m in funds from the pools. Reach out if you can help identify and analyse the exploit.https://t.co/aNTvdzKOeF CC @RektHQ @samczsun @bneiluj — Spartan Protocol (@SpartanProtocol) May 2, 2021
The report said that the attack goes down as one of the single largest monetary exploits in decentralized finance history. Only five other DeFi exploits resulted in the loss of more funds: EasyFi ($59 million), Uranium Finance ($57.2 million), KuCoin ($45 million), Alpha Finance ($37.5 million), and Meerkat Finance ($32 million). The value of SPARTA, Spartan Protocol’s native token, plunged 30% on Sunday to $1.17. It was down over 29% in Bitcoin (BTC) comparative and 31.4% versus Ether (ETH).
According to Finaria, an Italian publication, theft, and exploitation are nothing new for the cryptocurrency community. In addition to the recent string of DeFi attacks, crypto criminals stole an estimated $1.9 billion in 2020.
Thus, fraud was the leading crypto-based crime, followed by theft and ransomware. The year before, in 2019, criminals made off with an estimated $4.5 billion worth of cryptocurrency.