Tether claims that their systems have been hacked on November 19, leading to $30 million USDT being “improperly removed from the Tether treasury wallet through malicious action by an external attacker”.
In a “critical announcement” published on Tether’s website, the company claimed that $30 million worth of its tokens have been fraudulently taken from the treasury wallet and sent to an unauthorized bitcoin address. The announcement raises more questions than it answers.
“$30,950,010 USDT was removed from the Tether Treasury wallet on November 19, 2017 and sent to an unauthorized bitcoin address. As Tether is the issuer of the USDT managed asset, we will not redeem any of the stolen tokens, and we are in the process of attempting token recovery to prevent them from entering the broader ecosystem. The attacker is holding funds in the following address: 16tg2RJuEPtZooy18Wxn2me2RhUdC94N7r,” the Tether announcement wrote.
The company advised users not to accept USDT tokens from the aforementioned address, “as they have been flagged and will not be redeemable by Tether for USD”.
“The tether.to back-end wallet service has been temporarily suspended. A thorough investigation on the cause of the attack is being undertaken to prevent similar actions in the future,” the company said.
Moreover, Tether is releasing a new version of the Omni Core software client used by Tether integrators to support Omni Layer transactions. The company urges all exchanges, wallets, and other Tether integrators to install the software update in order to essentially perform an emergency hard fork and prevent the tokens it alleges were stolen from entering the ecosystem.
Tether digitizes fiat currencies to create Tethers – digital tokens that are pegged to the value of the fiat currency they represent. The company has been caught up in a storm of controversy lately, over lack of transparency, discrepancies in provided information and alleged common ownership with the Bitfinex exchange.
The recent alleged hack pushes controversy surrounding Tether even further, sparking speculation over the veracity of the claims and the nature of the not-so-decentralized Omni network.
Tether and the Omni network are so decentralized that a recent "attack" (which resulted in ~$31 million being removed) led Omni Core developer team to unilaterally hard fork the Omni network to prevent the "attacker" from using the funds.
— Tim Swanson (@ofnumbers) November 21, 2017
Tether quietly did a hard fork to blacklist a specific address and freeze funds.
1. Who controls the Omni ledger and who can perform these kinds of operations?
2. Why was this address blacklisted?
3. Which other addresses are next in line? https://t.co/V13170NXae
— Emin Gün Sirer (@el33th4xor) November 21, 2017
Tether hacked, the company claims – Image source: Tether