US crypto firm Harmony faced a $100 million robbery

US crypto firm Harmony said on Friday that thieves have stolen nearly $100 million worth of digital coins from one of its flagship products, the latest in a series of cyber thefts in the region long targeted by hackers.

Harmony develops blockchain for so-called decentralized finance – peer-to-peer sites that provide loans and other services without traditional gatekeepers like banks – and non-fungible tokens.

The California-based company said the heist hit its horizon “bridge,” a tool for moving crypto between different blockchains — the underlying software used by digital tokens like bitcoin and ether.

Theft in the crypto sector has long plagued companies, with blockchain bridges increasingly targeted. According to London-based blockchain analytics firm Elliptic, more than $1 billion has been stolen from bridges so far in 2022.

Harmony tweeted that it was “working with national authorities and forensic experts to identify the perpetrator and recover the stolen money”, without giving further details.

It did not immediately respond to requests for comment sent via email and social media.

Elliptic, which tracks publicly visible blockchain data, said hackers stole several different cryptocurrencies from Harmony, including Ether, Tether and USD Coin, which were later exchanged for ether using so-called decentralized exchanges. swapped out.

In March, hackers stole approximately $615 million worth of cryptocurrency from Ronin Bridge, which was used to transfer crypto in and out of the game Axi Infinity. The United States linked North Korean hackers to the theft, the biggest ever.