One of the biggest threads weaving through the crypto news cycle this year is security — or rather, lack thereof. Hacks have been increasing in frequency throughout the year, and they’re a rather lucrative way for bad actors to get rich quick. Often, these hacks rob projects of millions to hundreds of millions of dollars. One project on Near Protocol (NEAR-USD), though, is proving more hardy than the rest. A Near bridge called Rainbow Bridge is proving quite successful at repelling attacks. Over the weekend, it foiled its second attack of the year, even seizing money from the hackers in the process.
Crypto bridges like Rainbow are a very common point of weakness for crypto security. Just as the name implies, they exist as paths between blockchain projects. Users can move their assets across these bridges in order to chase the protocols offering the best staking rewards or the hottest dapps.
As a sort of no man’s land between chains, they are the stomping grounds through which many hackers choose to attack a project. This year, about $1.4 billion in assets has been stolen specifically through bridges. This includes perhaps the largest hack seen by the whole market this year, in which the Ronin (RON-USD) network was robbed of well over $600 million through one of its bridges.
Rainbow bridge, like Ronin’s bridge, connects to the Ethereum (ETH-USD) network. But unlike the Ronin bridge, Rainbow is well-prepared to take on criminals looking to exploit it. This week, it has repelled its second attack of the year. It’s making these hackers especially feel the pain as Rainbow comes out of the situation with more crypto than it started with.
Near Bridge Rainbow Foils Attackers, Takes Their ETH
The Near bridge is not new to being a cybercrime target. In May, a bad actor attempted to target to bridge for a cash grab. Responding deftly to the threat, Rainbow was able to shut out the hacker while also taking 2.5 ETH from them. This week, it has pulled off a similar feat, giving yet another master class in what blockchain protection should look like.
On Saturday, a hacker attempted to defraud the bridge by faking a Near Protocol block for a fraudulent transaction. In doing this, the hacker paid 5 ETH to the network. Fortunately for Rainbow bridge and Near users, the project utilizes automatic watchdogs, which monitor the chain robotically for any fraudulent activity.
In just 31 seconds, these watchdogs realized the exploit was taking place and shut it down. Rainbow even kept the 5 ETH as added salt in the would-be criminal’s wounds. No users lost funds thanks to the swift action, and the bridge is running as normal ever since.
At a time when blockchain crime is only rising in frequency, there are many calls to better secure projects. All too often, developers leave holes in their code. By not tying up loose ends, these types of attacks are easy to conduct and nearly impossible to reverse. That’s why blockchain security firms like CertiK so often laud the importance of security audits; third parties can find these weaknesses and direct developers on how to fix them. Rainbow Bridge developers are showing perfectly how these measures can prevent end-users from suffering.
On the date of publication, Brenden Rearick did not have (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 InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.