NFT music platform Audius loses 18 million cryptocurrency to scammer

NFT Music Platform Audius confirmed that it was exploited by cybercriminals, costing the crypto company around $6 million. Audius is a music streaming and sharing platform that puts the power back into the hands of content creators, making it a decentralised platform.

The platform enables listeners to support artists directly via its native cryptocurrency, AUDIO. As of December 2021, Audius has almost 6 million monthly unique users and hosts over 100,000 artists.

According to MisTrack, a crypto compliance platform, Audius was recently exploited, leading to the loss of 18.5 million Audio tokens. It seems like $6 million in Audio tokens was only traded for just a little over $1 million in Ethereum. The funds were swapped via Uniswap for 705 ETH and remain in the scammer’s address at this time. Uniswap is a  decentralised cryptocurrency exchange.

“Our team is aware of reports of an unauthorized transfer of AUDIO tokens from the community treasury. We are actively investigating and will report back as soon as we know more,” Audius said in a tweet. “The issue has been found and fixes are in progress to get things back to a stable state. To prevent further damage, all Audius smart contracts on Ethereum had to be halted, including the token. We do not believe any further funds are at risk.”

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Notably, the transaction history of the scammer’s crypto wallet reveals that they earlier received crypto tokens via Tornado Cash, a private crypto mixer. This protocol is usually used to transfer cryptocurrency, offering full anonymity.

It should be noted that the rise in DeFi which facilitates crypto-denominated lending outside traditional banking, has been a big factor in the increase in stolen funds and scams. Hackers have targeted DeFis the most, in yet another warning for those dabbling in this emerging segment of the crypto industry.

“DeFi is one of the most exciting areas of the wider cryptocurrency ecosystem, presenting huge opportunities to entrepreneurs and cryptocurrency users alike,” Chainalysis wrote in its annual Crypto Crime report.

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