Bored Ape Yacht Club Hacked, Loses $380,000 Worth of NFTs in Phishing Attack

Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/Shutterstock / Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/Shutterstock

Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) — the mega-popular NFT collection — was hacked last weekend, according to its creator, Yuga Labs, who also recently launched its Otherside metaverse.

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“Our Discord servers were briefly exploited today. The team caught it and quickly resolved it. About 200 ETH worth of NFTs appear to have been affected. We are still investigating, but if you are affected, please email us at [email protected],” the company tweeted on June 4.

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This works out to $381,971 on Monday morning.

The news was first reported by Twitter user NFTherder, who tweeted that BAYC’s community manager Boris Vagner had compromised his Discord account “allowing the scammers to carry out their phishing attack.” The tweet continued: “Over 145E has been stolen in it. The right permissions could prevent this.”

Ari Redbord, chief of legal and government affairs at blockchain intelligence firm TRM Labs, told GOBankingRates that BAYC has truly become an iconic brand outside the NFT space to influence art, pop culture, sports and even finance.

“It’s no surprise that it — and its creator Yuga Labs — has become a target for hacks, scams and fraud when individual NFTs can be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars or more,” Redbord said. He explained that most attacks are based on social engineering – the use of fake advertisements to lure victims and phishing.

“This is becoming increasingly organized and reminiscent of professionalized ‘Scams-as-a-service’-style operations,” he said. “It’s so important to stay vigilant. In addition, report these scams so that others do not become victims.”

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He added that this is why TRM Labs and partners Circle, Binance.US, Hedera, Aave, Solana Labs, OpenSea and Civic have launched Chainabuse – a place to report these types of scams and frauds to ensure that it makes no one else happy.

“It’s a place for the #cryptoverse to come together to keep those from taking advantage of what we’re building,” he said.

BAYC is a collection of 10,000 Bored Ape NFTs living on the Ethereum blockchain. Each Bored Ape character has individual traits and characteristics.

“Your Bored Ape doubles as your Yacht Club membership card and grants access to members-only benefits, the first of which is access to THE BTHROOM, a collaborative graffiti board. Future areas and benefits can be unlocked by the community through roadmap activation,” the website said.

“When you buy a Bored Ape, you don’t just buy an avatar or a demonstrably rare piece of art. You get membership access to a club whose benefits and offers will increase over time. Your bored monkey can serve as your digital identity and open digital doors for you,” says BAYC.

According to TRM, the ownership of Bored Ape NFT is seen by many as a status symbol, selling for about $200,000 each and owned by celebrities such as Jimmy Fallon and Eminem. According to OpenSea, the BAYC collection has had the highest floor price and second-highest trading volume on the market in the past thirty days, and when creator Yuga Labs launched the Otherside metaverse, “FOMO” was in overdrive, possibly leading to the hacks, TRM added.

Last month, actor Seth Green had stolen several Bored Ape NFTs. He tweeted: “Well frens, it happened to me. Was phishing and stole 4NFT.”

Green had developed an entire series around one of the Bored Ape characters, the trailer of which premiered at Gary Vaynerchuk’s NFT conference VeeCon in May, Mashable reported.

“I bought that monkey in July 2021 and spent the past few months developing and exploiting the IP to become the star of this show,” Green explained as he spoke to Vaynerchuk onstage. “Days before he is going to make his world debut, he is literally kidnapped.”

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About the author

Yael Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including: Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major New York City financial firms, including New York Life and MSCI. Yael is now a freelancer and most recently co-authored the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare”, with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in journalism from New York University and one in Russian studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.

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