NFT platform Monkey Kingdom refunds $1.3m after hack

By Raffaele Redi

Hackers accessed the popular Asian NFT platform on 21 December

Monkey Kingdom Xmas metaverse party poster                                 
Monkey Kingdom’s metaverse Xmas party, starring superstar DJ Steve Aoki, is still going ahead – Photo: Monkey Kingdom

Unknown scammers hacked Asian NFT platform The Monkey Kingdom yesterday, spoiling its second NFT drop and casting doubt over its scheduled ‘Christmas party in the Metaverse’ starring Grammy-nominated DJ Steve Aoki.

Launched in November, the popular Asian NFT collection, originally made up of 2,222 algorithmically-generated NFTs, is comparable to the likes of Bored Ape Yacht Club and Cryptopunks.

Yesterday, hackers allegedly accessed the Hong Kong-based platform, which runs on the Solana blockchain, via an exploit involving Discord webhooks – despite a scammer alert that was issued before the drop of the Baepes or Female Wukong Apes series of NFTs.

All proceeds garnered from the sale of the NFTs would have been donated to charities that support Asian communities worldwide. Monkey Kingdom, which published details of the incident, refunded users to the tune of around $1.3m within just a few hours.

Research carried out by Chainalysis reveals that scams were the largest form of crypto-based crime by transaction volume in 2021, with over $7.7bn worth of cryptocurrency taken from victims worldwide.

The incident

According to the company’s explanation, the incident saw Monkey Kingdom Discord hacked due to “Grape’s security flaws”.

“Grape is a top solution used by most NFT projects and DAOs to verify users on Solana. Grape has announced they were compromised internally, which placed webhooks into our Discord server, allowing a hacker to prey on our users,” the company explained, saying that the same Grape security flaw had also affected Justin Kan’s Fractal NFT platform launch. 

“We have engaged additional cyber security experts and protocols to help us prevent further security breaches, and safeguard our loyal Monkey Kingdom community,” the company added.

Thankfully, from Monkey Platform’s perspective, the hack did not seem to deter fans too much, with some users even claiming to be ready to offer them their refund back.

Steve Aoki party

Despite the hacking incident, the company has confirmed that its Monkey Kingdom metaverse Xmas party, organised for its community and starring Grammy-nominated DJ Steve Aoki, will be going ahead as planned on 23 December, on a large, temple-inspired stage built on the Cryptovoxels platform. 

Ranked among the world’s Top 10 DJs last year, the DJ, producer and record label boss will be playing a 60-minute set. Aoki is something of an NFT enthusiast himself, and his own NFT collection, created in partnership with digital artist Antoni Tudisco, recently fetched a whopping $888,888.

Aoki will be supported by Taiwanese artist Dizzy Dizzo, who will play the opening set.

Further reading

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