Stepn Network Falls Victim to Cyber Attacks After Anti-Cheating Upgrade

  • Stepn (GMT-USD) fell victim to a series of cyber attacks this weekend.
  • These troubles have come just after the network implemented its recent upgrade.
  • Developers are looking to pare down on cheating for its move-to-earn (M2E) game.
A mobil app icon of STEPN on a screen next to an earbud.
Source: Primakov / Shutterstock

This weekend has been busy for hackers in the blockchain space. Most notably, the Bored Ape Yacht Club community recently fell victim to a hacker who stole over $300,000 worth of assets. But there’s another project licking its wounds alongside the blue-chip non-fungible token (NFT) collection. The Stepn (GMT-USD) network has also fallen victim to a cyber attack, although this one seems less interested in robbing users and more interested in keeping investors from using the network at all.

Stepn is at the forefront of a new crypto subculture gaining popularity. Called move-t0-earn (M2E), networks like Stepn combine fitness and gaming with the blockchain, creating a unique model for earning passive income.

Stepn offers up sneaker NFTs which have their own stats pertaining to speed. Users can then buy a token which matches with their real-life running cadence. After connecting a wallet to the network and purchasing an NFT, they can download the Stepn app and share their location data with the network whilst running.

This network tracks each user’s distance traveled, as well as speed and other metrics. It also creates rewards for users in the form of GMT crypto. The end result is a network that users can leverage for passive income whenever they want to work out.

M2E may be a niche and nascent sub-category of crypto investing, but it’s already gaining traction. Launching for around 14 cents per token, GMT now sells at roughly $1 apiece just months later. This growth is leading to some issues with the network, though. As developers correct these issues, they’re also running into a lot more trouble.

Stepn Network Suffers DDoS Attack After Anti-Cheating Upgrade

Last week, Stepn announced a plan to curb cheating on its app. Developers had noticed some users spoofing their GPS locations, mimicking movement or carrying multiple devices in order to mine GMT unfairly. In order to remedy this, Stepn is implementing an artificial intelligence (AI) model on the network. The AI will learn patterns of cheating, then identify users who are cheating and hand out increasingly severe punishments.

As the upgrade goes live, developers will be able to weed out users trying to unfairly exploit the M2E model. Shortly after announcing the anti-cheating model, though, Stepn has fallen victim to a series of cyber attacks.

Yesterday, bad actors started using distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks to keep the network from operating smoothly. DDoS attacks flood a target’s network with bot traffic. This effectively brings operations to a halt as real users can’t access the network.

Fortunately for investors, the attacks aren’t doing well to bring down GMT crypto prices. In fact, the token is seeing a bit of a jump this afternoon to the tune of 5%. Trading volume also continues to surge; with more than $590 million in GMT swapping hands today, volume is over yesterday by about 44%.

On the date of publication, Brenden Rearick did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the Publishing Guidelines.

Brenden Rearick is a Financial News Writer for InvestorPlace’s Today’s Market team. He mainly covers digital assets and tech stocks, with a focus on crypto regulation and DeFi.

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