White hacker made over $530k

A programmer known as Riptide discovered a bug in Arbitrum protocol code that could have resulted in millions of dollars in lost money

White hacker made over $530k

“White hacker”, under the nickname Riptide received 400 ETH (about $531k) from Arbitrum protocol for revealing a vulnerability in the code, he wrote about in his blog. Because of the critical bug he found, attackers could make millions of dollars redirecting funds between Ethereum and a new version of the Arbitrum Nitro protocol launched a few weeks ago.

“White hacker” Riptide is in the business of detecting bugs in code, with developers offering rewards for doing so on the ImmuneFi platform. According to the programmer, there is 100% certainty that developers will make a mistake while writing, deploying or updating smart contracts.

Riptide knew that Arbitrum Nitro, Ethereum’s network scalability solution, was running an updаte and carefully examined the code, resulting in a spot in the program where an attacker could set up his own address to accept all incoming ETH deposits. At the time, the largest deposit registered in the contract that could have been stolen was 168,000 ETH (about $250 million).

The programmer reported the vulnerability to Arbitrum developers and was rewarded with 400 ETH. However, he was not satisfied with the “bounty”, because the maximum reward for finding the bug, given by the protocol team, was $2 million. He commented on the payment, saying that it was a bad idea to encourage “white hackers” to join the ranks of “black hackers”.

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