Non-fungible token (NFT) influencer CryptoNovo announced on January 4 that it had fallen victim to a cyberattack and lost two CryptoPunks. He wrote on Twitter: “I just got hacked!!! Are you kidding me!?!” It included a screenshot from OpenSea showing two CryptoPunks being moved to another address.
Two CryptoPunks were immediately sold by the attacker, one for 70 Ether
(worth $88,434 at the time of publication) and the other for 199 ETH (worth $251,404). This means that CryptoNovo lost more than $300,000 from CryptoPunks in the attack.
CryptoPunk #4608 was allegedly transferred to the attacker’s wallet, transferred to another wallet, and then sold for 199 ETH. Source: OpenSea
Several other non-fungible tokens appear to have also been taken from the influencer, including Meebits, CloneX, Mutant Ape Yacht Club, and Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs.
CryptoNovo’s green hat-wearing villain #3706 appears to have been saved from the attack, though the owner also appears to have sold the item. While the aforementioned NFTs went to a known phishing address, CryptoPunk #3706 was sent to a completely different address and sold for 75 ETH (worth $94,751). This address has also received items from Thenovoverse.eth, an ENS domain that has itself received items from the official CryptoNovo wallet address in the past. These facts may indicate that the sale of this particular item was made by the owner, not the attacker.
Cryptobank #3706. Source: OpenSea
CryptoNovo has over 18,000 followers on Twitter and is known for wearing masks that make it look like the green hat-wearing CryptoPunk he first bought in 2020.
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Photo of the real anonymous CryptoNovo.
Although CryptoNovo claimed that the attack was a “hack”, Twitter user Proper indicated that the most likely cause was phishing. After green hat CryptoPunk was moved to a secure address, CryptoNovo offered several token licenses to an unknown smart contract. It is this contract that has subsequently used the “TransferFrom” function in various NFTs to transfer them from the influencer’s wallet. This means that someone might have tricked him into allowing a malicious DApp to transfer his tokens.
Related: Magic Eden NFT service has been hacked, and it’s showing porn instead of the right ones
It looks like someone is impersonating CryptoNovo on Discord. Nine hours after the attack happened, he posted a picture to a Discord account that he claims to be, but says it’s a fake account.
CryptoPunks was one of the first “generative digital arts” NFTs, or collections of art objects created by an algorithm. It was issued in June 2017, and its individual units have been delivered to anyone who can pay the gas fee for their deed. Today, CryptoPunks sells for an average price of over $100,000.
The group has inspired thousands of other generative NFT groups, including Bored Ape Yacht Club, Mutant Ape Yacht Club, Meebits, and more.