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MEV Front-Running Bots Exploited, $25.2 Million Stolen by Sandwich Attackers

Mon, 04/03/2023 - 11:46
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Arman Shirinyan
Luckily the attack was not directed at the Uniswap itself
MEV Front-Running Bots Exploited, $25.2 Million Stolen by Sandwich Attackers
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Eight addresses managed to steal $25.2 million in assets from front-running bots by executing a sandwich attack on Uniswap transactions. This incident could mark a significant turning point for the entire MEV ecosystem.

These attacks were not directed at Uniswap pools themselves, but rather at the front-runners who were attempting to gain an advantage in the market by exploiting transaction ordering. 

A sandwich attack is a type of front-running scheme where an attacker places a large trade on either side of a target's transaction to manipulate the price and profit from the resulting price change. In this case, eight addresses managed to exploit the vulnerability and steal substantial assets from Uniswap pools.

The validator behind the attack was funded through the anonymous protocol Aztec, suggesting that the theft from MEV bots was premeditated. The confidential deposit into the validator's account took place 18 days before the attack.

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As a result of two transactions, one front-run and one back-run, the hacker-validator managed to steal the following assets from unsuspecting bots: 7,461 WETH worth $13.4 million; 5.3 million USDC; 3 million USDT; 65 WBTC worth $1.8M and 1.7 million DAI.

This incident serves as a stark reminder of the potential dangers and vulnerabilities that exist within the rapidly evolving world of decentralized finance. The attack highlights the need for more robust security measures and protocols to protect users from similar exploits.

Additionally, the attack may serve as a turning point for the MEV ecosystem. It demonstrates the potential for bad actors to exploit the system and raises questions about the long-term sustainability of the current MEV model. The industry must reassess its approach to MEV and work to develop new solutions that prioritize security and protect users from such threats.

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About the author

Arman Shirinyan is a trader, crypto enthusiast and SMM expert with more than four years of experience.

Arman strongly believes that cryptocurrencies and the blockchain will be of constant use in the future. Currently, he focuses on news, articles with deep analysis of crypto projects and technical analysis of cryptocurrency trading pairs.