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Hackers Steal NFTs Worth $3M in Bored Ape Yacht Club Heist

Latest mass theft of digital art assets is carried out by phishing post on Instagram.


Hackers stole non-fungible tokens (NFTs) estimated to be worth $3 million after getting into the Bored Ape Yacht Club's Instagram account and uploading a link to a replica website that tried to capture marks' assets.

The fake post offered a free airdrop – essentially a promotional token giveaway, to customers who clicked the link and connected their MetaMask crypto-asset wallets to the scammer's wallet. Rather than receiving free items, victims had their digital wallets drained. 

Bored Ape Yacht Club tweeted Monday morning in a warning that came too late for some of its members, "It looks like BAYC Instagram was hacked. Do not mint anything, click links, or link your wallet to anything,"  

The Bored Ape Yacht Club, or BAYC, is a collection of photographs depicting bored primates in various attitudes and costumes, which can be used as internet profile avatars and sell for hundreds of dollars in crypto coins. 

Miscreants stole four Bored Apes, six Mutant Apes, and three Bored Ape Kennel Club NFTs, as well as "assorted additional NFTs estimated at a total value of $3 million," according to Yuga Labs, the company that launched Bored Ape Yacht Club. 

"We are actively working to establish contact with affected users," a Yuga Labs spokesperson said, adding that its hijacked Instagram account did have two-factor authentication enabled, "and the security practices surrounding the IG account were tight." 

"Yuga Labs and Instagram are currently investigating how the hacker was able to gain access to the account," the spokesperson stated. 

This is the second time in less than a month that the NFT collection has been hacked. Bored Ape Yacht Club said on March 31 that their Discord server had been compromised. According to security firm PeckShield, a cybercriminal stole one NFT: Mutant Ape Yacht Club #8662 in a previous incident. 

In March, following the launch of the ApeCoin cryptocurrency by the Bored Ape Yacht Club, fraudsters stole around $1.5 million by claiming a huge amount of tokens using NFTs they did not own and obtaining bogus flash loans. Flash loans are given and repaid in a single blockchain transaction, which might take as little as seconds to get and return the funds. These and other recent hacks have raised security concerns about NFT and cryptocurrency technologies.
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