Tornado Cash Attack: Hacker’s Change of Heart Raises Questions on Trust and Blockchain Security

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Just a day following a disturbance caused by an attacker who hijacked the Tornado Cash governance, a new proposal has surfaced which could potentially restore the state of governance. On May 21, the passing of a malicious proposal granted the attacker with full authority over Tornado Cash’s governance. This placed the attacker in a position to cause detrimental damage as they could withdraw all locked votes, drain all tokens in the governance contract, and brick the router.

In response to the unfolding events, Tornado Cash community member, Mr. Tornadosaurus Hex (Hex), took swift action to limit potential damage by putting forth a proposal urging members to withdraw all funds that were locked in governance. Hex, however, had doubts about the effectiveness of the new proposal due to the attacker’s gripping control over the mixer’s governance.

In a surprising turn of events, a few hours into the hack, the attacker reached out to the Tornado Cash community, signaling their intent to return governance control with a new proposal. Hex shared the attacker’s intentions, stating that it was likely that the attacker would execute the plan to restore governance. However, despite the community having no other option than to comply with the attacker’s methods of returning governance control, Hex noted that his due diligence in verifying storage layouts checked out.

While many community members expressed optimism towards the attacker’s sudden change of heart, there remains speculation that this move was an attempt to inflate the TORN token’s price before cashing out. Analyzing this recent incident does point to the brighter side of the crypto ecosystem, which has experienced a significant decrease in overall hacks during the first quarter of 2023.

On the other hand, history teaches crypto users not to be complacent. After experiencing a sluggish phase, 2022 witnessed a sudden uptick in crypto hacks. Just as the technology is continually evolving, so are the threats, requiring constant vigilance in cybersecurity. Blockchain technology has made strides in enhancing trust in various sectors, such as AI, but whether this optimism in the technology can continue to prevail is yet to be seen. Although blockchain may present a strong case for increased trust and security, incidents like the Tornado Cash governance attack remind us that a truly flawless security system may still be beyond our reach.

Source: Cointelegraph

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