NFT influencer falls victim to cyber attack, loses $300K+ crypto punks

NFT influencer falls victim to cyber attack, loses 0K+ crypto punks

NFT Influencer CryptoNovo announced on January 4 that they have fallen victim to a cyberattack and lost two cryptopunks. The post on Twitter says “I just got hacked!!! Are you kidding me!?!” and includes a screenshot from OpenSea showing two crypto coins being transferred to another address.

The two cryptopunks were immediately sold by the attacker, one for 70 ETH (worth the equivalent of $88,434 at the time of publication) and the other for 199 ETH ($251,404). This means that CryptoNovo lost over $300,000 worth of crypto coins in the attack.

The record of cryptopunk#4608 which was allegedly transferred to the attacker’s wallet, moved to another wallet and then sold for 199 ETH. Source: OpenSea

Numerous other NFTs were apparently sourced from the influencer, including Meebits, CloneX, Mutant Ape Yacht Club, and Bored Ape Yacht Club.

CryptoNovo’s iconic green beanie punk, #3706, appears to have been saved from the attack, although the owner also appears to have sold the item. While the previously mentioned items went to a known phishing address, cryptopunk #3706 was sent to a completely different address and sold for 75 ETH ($94,751). This address has also received goods from thenovoverse.eth, an ENS domain that itself has received goods from CryptoNovo’s official wallet address in the past. These facts may suggest that the sale of this particular item was possibly done by the owner rather than an attacker.

Cryptopunk#3706. Source: OpenSea

CryptoNovo is an NFT influencer with over 18,000 Twitter followers. He is known for wearing masks that make him look like the green beanie-wearing crypto-punk he first acquired in 2020.

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An image of CryptoNovo, whose true identity is unknown.

Although CryptoNovo claimed the attack was a “hack”, Twitter user @__proper has pointed out that this is more likely to have been caused by phishing. Soon after the green beanie cryptopunk was transferred to a secure address, CryptoNovo made several token authorizations to an unknown smart contract. It is this contract that later used the transferFrom function on various NFTs to move them from the influencer’s wallet. This implies that someone may have tricked him into authorizing a malicious Dapp to move his tokens.

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Also, someone seems to be impersonating CryptoNovo on Discord. 9 hours after the attack happened, he posted a picture of a Discord account claiming to be him, but which he says is a fake account.

Cryptopunks was one of the first “generative digital art” NFT collections or collections of art objects generated by an algorithm. It was released in June 2017 and its individual units were given away to anyone who could pay the gas fees to mint them. Today, crypto coins sell for an average price of over $1,000, according to nftstats.com.

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The collection has inspired thousands of other generative NFT collections, including Bored Ape Yacht Club, Mutant Ape Yacht Club, Meebits and others.