Fake Ethena Labs token exploited for $290K on Binance Launchpool


Update March 29, 09:50 am UTC: This article has been updated to clarify the token in question is a fake bearing the same name as Ethena Labs’ ENA token.

A fake token with the same name as Ethena Labs’s ENA token has been exploited for 480 BNB (BNB) tokens worth $290,000 on the Binance launch pool for farming. 

The vulnerability behind the exploit is still unknown. On-chain security firm PeckShield reported the incident at 8:31 am UTC on March 29 in an X post, mistaking the fake token for the real ENA token.

Ethena Labs’s ENA token was announced on the Binance Launchpool on March 29. The exploit of the fake token, which is unrelated to Ethena Labs, occurred a few hours after the announcementing listing, causing widespread confusion.

Ethena Labs launched its USDe synthetic dollar on the public mainnet on Feb. 19. Ethena became the highest-earning decentralized application (DApp) in crypto on March 8, when it offered investors an annual percentage yield (APY) of 67%.

In terms of total sum, the exploit is on the smaller side of crypto hacks. The attack occurred a day after the over-$11-million Prisma Finance hack on March 28.

Crypto hacks are a long-standing issue in the industry, eroding investor trust. Over $200 million worth of crypto has been lost to hacks and rug pulls in 2024 across 32 individual incidents up to Feb. 29, according to blockchain security firm Immunefi.

The over-$200-million loss represents a 15.4% increase compared to January and February 2023, when $173 million of digital assets were stolen.

A total of $1.8 billion was lost to crypto hacks and scammers in 2023, 17% of which can be attributed to the North Korean Lazarus Group, according to a Dec. 28 report by Immunefi.

Related: Funds hacked in 2024 increased by 15.4% vs. the same period in 2023 — Immunefi

Amount of crypto funds stolen fell 54% in 2023

The biggest year for crypto hackers was 2022, which saw over $3.7 billion in funds stpo, a decrease of 54.3% to $1.7 billion in 2023, according to the “2024 Crypto Crime Report” by Chainalysis.

Despite the value of funds falling, the number of incidents grew from 219 in 2022 to 231 in 2023.

Total value hacked. Source: Chainalysis

Chainalysis attributed the significant yearly drop to a decrease in decentralized finance (DeFi) hacking, according to the report:

“Hacks of DeFi protocols largely drove the huge increase in stolen crypto that we saw in 2021 and 2022, with cybercriminals stealing more than $3.1 billion in DeFi hacks last year. But this year, hackers stole just $1.1 billion from DeFi protocols. This amounts to a 63.7% drop in the total value stolen from DeFi platforms year-over-year.”

Related: Marc Andreessen, Galaxy Digital, Accolade, back new $75 million crypto fund: Report

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