One compromised admin account led to two projects being scammed in a day. From a report: On Tuesday, December 21st, two NFT projects fell victim to the same attack. Like many projects in the crypto world, the NFT collection Monkey Kingdom and in-game asset marketplace Fractal both engaged heavily with their communities through Discord chat servers. Both projects were about to distribute rewards to their community members: Monkey Kingdom through an NFT presale on the day of the 21st and Fractal through a token airdrop — essentially a free distribution to early supporters — a few days later. Then, disaster struck. Posts appeared in the official “announcements” channel of each project claiming that a surprise mint would reward community members with a limited edition NFT. Hundreds jumped at the chance — but for those who followed the links and connected their crypto wallets, a costly surprise was waiting. Rather than receiving an NFT, wallets were being drained of the Solana cryptocurrency, which both projects used for purchases.
In the space of an hour, a Twitter post, first from Monkey Kingdom and then from Fractal, informed followers that their Discord servers had been hacked; news of the NFT mints was bogus, the links a phishing fraud. In the case of Fractal, the scammers got away with about $150,000 worth of cryptocurrency. For Monkey Kingdom, the estimated total was reported to be $1.3 million. Neither attack targeted the blockchain or the tokens themselves. Instead, the thieves exploited weaknesses in the infrastructure used to sell the tokens — specifically, the Discord chatrooms where NFT fans gather. It’s a reminder of a persistent weakness in the growing NFT economy, where surprise drops have primed buyers to move fast or risk missing out. But the same techniques that hype up a sale can also open the door to hackers — and in this case, a single compromise can end up spreading to more than one community at once. In this case, the NFTs thieves had targeted a feature known as a webhook. Webhooks are used by many web applications (Discord included) to listen for a message sent to a particular URL and trigger an event in response, like posting content to a certain channel. By gaining access to webhooks belonging to the Fractal and Monkey Kingdom Discord servers, the hackers were able to send messages that were broadcast to all members of certain channels: a feature meant to be used only for official communications from the project teams. This was where the fake “announcement” had come from and why it had pointed to a scam address. In hindsight, the content should have raised some red flags — but given the distribution method, it looked just legitimate enough that many were fooled.