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DEC 27, 2023

Kyber Network implements workforce reduction following exploit

by CoinNess Global

In the aftermath of a substantial security breach in November that resulted in a confirmed loss of over $48 million, Kyber Network, the multi-chain decentralized exchange (DEX) aggregator, has taken decisive steps to restructure its operations.

Working towards recovery

CEO and co-founder Victor Tran posted a lengthy message on the X social media platform on Christmas Eve to announce a 50% reduction in the firm’s workforce. The move marks a pivotal moment in the company’s efforts to recover and rebuild.
As part of its strategy to ensure sustainability, Kyber temporarily suspended its liquidity protocol initiatives and KyberAI. Despite these challenging measures, the core aggregator and limit order functions remain fully operational. Tran emphasized the company’s commitment to persist and evolve, highlighting its determination to navigate through recent adversities.

Zap API addition

In an effort to enhance its services, Kyber Network disclosed plans to introduce the Zap API. This new offering aims to provide decentralized applications, crypto wallets and other DeFi projects with a seamless means to connect their users to liquidity protocols.
Tran also revealed that in an effort to support its workforce during the transition, the firm has established a “voluntary database” to assist departing employees in finding new career opportunities. This initiative seeks to connect these individuals with peer projects in the industry.

Exploit fall-out

Kyber Network took to social media on Nov. 22 to advise its KyberSwap Elastic user base of a security incident. With that notification, it advised users to withdraw their funds immediately. Over the next few days, it became clear that $48 million had been exploited on the platform by a hacker.
In the immediate aftermath of the incident, the hacker posted a message on the blockchain, stating:
“Negotiations will start in a few hours when I am fully rested.”
He/she progressed to issuing unusual demands, including gaining complete operational control of the company and temporary ownership of the KyberDAO governance mechanism. The nature of these demands sets this particular exploit apart from others.
The Kyber team, however, chose to reject these demands. It chose to respond with a blockchain message of its own, outlining that it was cooperating with law enforcement in an effort to track the hacker. The company, which operates from offices in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Singapore, also offered the hacker a carrot of a 10% bounty if the hacker agreed to return 90% of users’ funds.
Instead, the firm pledged to compensate affected users through the KyberSwap Elastic Exploit Treasury Grant Program. On Dec. 20, the firm provided further details on that grant program, outlining how affected users would be refunded. Furthermore, Kyber Network is actively collaborating with authorities to identify the hacker and recover the stolen funds.
Earlier this month, blockchain security firm CertiK issued an alert on social media, outlining that the hacker had moved BNB tokens to the value of $338,000 into decentralized crypto tumbler Tornado Cash.
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