ChangeNOW rescues $1.5M from an Algorand heist of over $3M

A non-custodial crypto exchange service ChangeNOW is ready to return $1.5 million worth of Algorand (ALGO) tokens reported to be transferred to it after several hacks of Algorand users. On February 19, 2023, over a dozen of Algorand accounts were breached, with cumulative damage amounting to more than 13.3M ALGO or $3.6M. Shortly thereafter, ChangeNOW spotted several illicit transactions similar to those claimed to be hacked.

ChangeNOW’s AML system quickly detected laundering attempts

According to the Cryptodaily editorial who was the first to get in touch with the exchange to clear incident details, ChangeNOW canceled three transactions performed by hackers. These were transfers of previously stolen 600.000 USDC and 829.000 USDC, both on the Algorand network, as well as 300.000 ALGO. All crypto assets were valued at $1.5M. 

Platform highlights that user funds are safe

Currently, the incident is still under investigation since the method used to embezzle Algorand tokens has not yet been determined. In its official statement regarding the hack, ChangeNOW expresses its eagerness to cooperate with all affected parties. The good news is that the exchange will send recovered funds to the victims of the heist, fulfilling the obligations set by its return policies.

ChangeNOW pays increased attention to suspicious activity

The exchange’s own AML system comes through once again, enabling the effective identification and blocking of malicious transactions. To recall, ChangeNOW already succeeded in halting several large crypto flows initiated by malefactors. For example, they retrieved 500.000 XRP stolen as a result of the GitHub hack in 2019. 

In 2021, the platform returned $1M worth of MATIC coins drained from Eterbase. It also recovered $15M in Compound (COMP) tokens that had mistakenly been distributed among users due to the exploit in Compound Finance’s system.

To conclude, the implementation of innovative risk-prevention measures helped ChangeNOW deter thefts with combined value exceeding $19 million. 

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