NFT REVIEW $3M in Stolen NFTs Retrieved After 120 ETH Ransom Paid

Recently, 36 Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) and 18 Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC) NFTs were stolen from NFT Trader, a peer-to-peer trading platform. These stolen assets, estimated at close to $3 million, were swiftly returned after a 120 Ether (ETH) ransom was paid.

The unidentified hacker justified their actions by stating they inadvertently picked up “residual garbage” left by another user’s exploit and demanded the substantial 120 ETH ransom for the return of the NFTs. Interestingly, rather than a hard-nosed standoff, the resolution of the theft swiftly followed the hacker’s demands.

Community-Led Recovery

Boring Security, a Web3 security initiative financed by ApeCoin, played a role in the recovery process. The organization managed to facilitate the retrieval of the stolen NFTs within 24 hours of the bounty payment being made, putting a rapid end to what could have spiraled into a protracted saga.

The hacker managed to walk away with a credible bounty, netting around 10% of the floor price of the collections. The total reward dispensed to the hacker concluded at approximately $267,000.

Greg Solano, co-founder of Yuga Labs, took responsibility for the payment of the bounty. Dedicated to the NFT community at large, Yuga Labs— the creator of both BAYC and MAYC NFT collections— has actively participated in both the recovery of the stolen NFTs and the ensuing investigation into the incident.

Source: Depositphotos

Technical Vulnerability

The root cause of this security breakdown was traced back to an upgrade in a smart contract that occurred eleven days prior to the theft. The update unwittingly enabled unauthorized NFT transfers, thereby creating a vulnerability.

In light of the recent events, users have been advised to revoke permissions granted to two old contracts linked with the vulnerability. This precautionary measure is expected to prevent future unauthorized access and potential theft.


The recent theft resolution and token recovery shine a spotlight on the intricate risks in the digital asset realm. This incident underscores the urgency for heightened vigilance from all NFT stakeholders—developers, platforms, and traders alike. It signifies the need for continuous network surveillance, robust security measures, and stringent authentication processes to protect valuable digital assets and maintain the trust underpinning the entire NFT marketplace.

The security breach also underlines the importance of proactive measures to fortify the NFT ecosystem against potential threats. Enhanced user-authorization protocols, regular security audits, and active threat monitoring are a few steps that demand keen consideration. Embracing such vigilant strategies and investing in secure protocols will enable the NFT community to harness the potential of this sector securely, ensuring its promising future is not marred by repeated security breaches and lost public faith.

  • Mia Patel

    Gaming innovator with a zest for exploring the potential of blockchain in fostering community-driven platforms.

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