A collector of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) has claimed that his collection of Bored Ape Yacht Club tokens worth $1.9 million was "hacked," and that NFT marketplace OpenSea has "frozen" the assets.
New York-based art gallery owner Todd Kramer tweeted that he had clicked on a link that appeared to be a genuine NFT dapp. Unfortunately, it was phishing, and 16 of his NFTs were stolen as a result. The hacker wrote, "I've been hacked. All my apes have disappeared."
Bored Ape Yacht Club is one of the most popular PFP (profile picture) collections, which consists of cartoon ape images with randomly generated attributes. NFTs are cryptographically unique digital tokens that prove ownership of digital content, such as art, GIFs, or music files.
A number of celebrities and influencers own Bored Apes, including Snoop Dogg and Jimmy Fallon. The Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs have been traded for nearly $1 billion so far.
Dappradar's NFT Value Estimator, estimates the value of the Bored Apes stolen from Kramer's collection to be about $1.9 million. There were also seven Mutant Apes - created by exposing a Bored Ape to a mutant serum - and one Clonex NFT.
Some Crypto Twitter users responded to Kramer's ordeal with jokes, including multiple users who suggested that Kramer should change his profile picture if he no longer owns the Ape.
Later, Kramer tweeted that "All Apes are frozen" and that OpenSea, the biggest NFT marketplace, was recovering his stolen assets.
Some people however criticized such a narrative, arguing that requesting a third party to freeze NFTs went against crypto's claims of decentralization.
Forculus, an anonymous Twitter user, said, "It feels anti-crypto to ask third parties to perform this function. They shouldn't be able to do it. True decentralized ownership should be impossible for anyone to interfere.".
Keeping his assets safe in the future, Kramer plans to use a hardware wallet.
In the first half of 2021, phishing attacks against crypto exchanges increased tenfold compared to the first half of 2020, according to cybersecurity company PhishLabs.
Over the course of 2021, NFTs have grown in value, making them a tempting target for hackers and phishing attacks.
Millions of dollars' worth of NFTs were stolen from Nifty Gateway's marketplace in March, while cryptonymous developer Stazie lost 16 CryptoPunk NFTs to a phishing attack involving a malicious pop-up requesting MetaMask wallet seed phrases in August.