Defrost Finance Hacked in Attack Some Say May Have Been a Rug Pull

Decentralized finance protocol Defrost Finance said it was hacked Dec. 23, though blockchain security firm Peckshield, citing “community intel,” said the exploit may have been a rug pull that made off with $12 million.

In a tweet thread posted Dec. 25, the Defrost team said a first attack used a flash loan to drain funds out of its V2 product. A second larger attack used the owner key to exploit V1. The protocol, which offers leveraged trading on the Avalanche blockchain, didn’t say how much had been taken.

Peckshield’s analysis showed the attack used a fake collateral token together with manipulated pricing.

A rug pull can occur when developers create and establish a liquidity pool and then remove the funds after investors have bought the related token. The total value of funds locked on Defrost Finance, which peaked at $95 million in February, was about $13 million in recent weeks, Defi Llama data show. That dropped to less than $93,000 on Dec. 25.

If the attack is a rug pull, it's an unusual one. Usually the team behind the scheme goes silent and can't be contacted. Defrost Finance, however, said in a tweet that it's willing to negotiate with the people behind the attack for a return of the funds. An attempt to reach the firm through Twitter failed because direct messages have been disabled on the account.

DeFiYield, which offers a security layer for smart contracts to help investors avoid getting scammed or hacked alongside a cross-chain digital asset management platform, said it conducted an audit of Defrost Finance a year ago, and highlighted the smart contract vulnerability used in the hack.

Last year, crypto investors lost over $2.8 billion to rug pulls, according to a report by Chainalysis. Rug pulls accounted for 37% of the over $7.7 billion in total illicit revenue from crypto scams that year. The 2022 figure is likely to be higher: A report from blockchain risk monitoring firm Solidus Labs shows that fraudsters deployed over 117,000 scam tokens through Dec. 1, 41% more than in all of 2021.

See also: 5 Social Media Crypto Scams to Avoid