The decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem was hit by yet another hack recently, as decentralized perpetual market Level Finance was hacked for $1.1 million by an unknown attacker. This incident adds to a growing list of crypto and DeFi exploits that have taken place so far in 2023.
In an announcement made on Twitter, the Level Finance team explained that the attacker manipulated a “claim multiple” bug in one of Level Finance’s smart contracts, siphoning off over 214,000 LVL tokens. These were subsequently swapped into BNB tokens, resulting in the loss of over $1 million to Level Finance. The team assured users that other smart contracts were unaffected and isolated from the exploit. The liquidity pools and the DAO treasury also remained unaffected. A patch was deployed only 12 hours after the attack, with a thorough post-mortem to follow.
Level Finance is a decentralized, non-custodial perpetual market created on the BNB Chain. Its Total Value Locked (TVL) is currently around $32 million, a sharp drop from the $41 million before the attack.
Blockchain security firm PeckShield discovered that the smart contract “LevelReferralControllerV2” had a bug that allowed the hacker to make repeated referral claims during the same epoch. Level Finance has since confirmed this and temporarily suspended the referral program in an effort to contain the exploit.
2023 has seen a significant increase in the number of DeFi hacks, with several taking place over the first four months. Crypto security and auditing firm CertiK reported that crypto scams, exploits, flash loan attacks, and exit scams cost the crypto space a staggering $103 million in April alone. The total loss for the ongoing year stands at $429 million, a figure that could continue to rise.
Among the most significant hacks of the year are those of Sentiment and Euler Finance. Euler Finance’s hack saw the attacker siphon off $197 million, while Sentiment reported that hackers managed to steal $1 million. However, both protocols successfully negotiated with the hackers and recovered most of their funds.
The notable rise of DeFi hacks in 2023 demonstrates the importance of implementing security measures and conducting thorough audits on DeFi protocols. While many users praise the potential of DeFi to revolutionize the financial sector, skepticism arises when considering the consequences of these exploits. The frequency of such hacks urges the DeFi community to address these security issues proactively and recognize that the growing decentralized financial system must maintain security, privacy, and trustworthiness to retain users and foster growth.