CeDeFi strikes again.

OKX’s decentralised exchange aggregator has fallen victim to one of the oldest tricks in the book, losing $2.7M to a private key compromise.

The losses were caused by a compromised proxy contract, which was upgraded and used to steal funds from users who had approved it.

After community reports of funds going missing, Slowmist raised the alarm.

An official acknowledgement came shortly after, stating that the affected contract was a deprecated version, and had now been secured.

But if the contract was deprecated, why did they wait until it got rekt?

Credit: SlowMist

Although OKX itself is a centralised exchange, it runs a DEX aggregator (featuring “best-in-class security”, apparently) to help its more intrepid users seek out more niche opportunities on-chain.

According to SlowMist, the proxy admin of a trusted contract controlling OKX DEX trades was compromised. Then, shortly before midnight UTC, the implementation was upgraded in order to siphon user funds from addresses which had approved the proxy.

The pattern is described as follows:

...when users exchange, they authorize the TokenApprove contract, and the DEX contract transfers the user's tokens by calling the TokenApprove contract. The DEX contract has a claimTokens function that allows a trusted DEX Proxy to make calls, with its functionality being to invoke the claimTokens function of the TokenApprove contract to transfer tokens authorized by the user. The trusted DEX Proxy is managed by the Proxy Admin, and the Proxy Admin Owner can upgrade the DEX Proxy contract through the Proxy Admin.

Once compromised:

...the Proxy Admin Owner upgraded the DEX Proxy contract to a new implementation contract through the Proxy Admin. The new implementation contract's functionality is to directly call the claimTokens function of the DEX contract to transfer tokens. Subsequently, attackers began calling the DEX Proxy to steal tokens.

Relevant addresses/txs:

DEX contract: 0x70cbb871e8f30fc8ce23609e9e0ea87b6b222f58

OKX DEX TokenApprove contract: 0x40aa958dd87fc8305b97f2ba922cddca374bcd7f

DEX Proxy: 0x55b35bf627944396f9950dd6bddadb5218110c76

Proxy Admin: 0x3c18F8554362c3F07Dc5476C3bBeB9Fdd6F6a500

Proxy Admin Owner: 0xc82Ea2afE1Fd1D61C4A12f5CeB3D7000f564F5C6

Upgrade Transactions: 0xc6a5a7bc… and 0x22ebd2…

Suspected Attacker [funded via Tornado Cash]: 0xFacf375Af906f55453537ca31fFA99053A010239

Profit Address [holding $430k]:


While SlowMist’s initial analysis put the losses at around $430k, PeckShield and Hacken traced a total of $2.7M stolen, adding the following addresses which received a total of 800 ETH ($1.7M) and $620k in stablecoins:





Private key compromises are often carried out by the experts, and have often led to heavy losses from CEXs, including Poloniex and HTX (twice), recently.

Last week we covered some of the latest phishing techniques, pointing out how even experienced users can find it hard to notice common scam methods, including address poisoning campaigns.

Fitting then, that today’s story shows how even professional security auditors can mistakenly copy/paste phishing addresses into their write-ups, after presumably misidentifying fake token transfer as a genuine 300 ETH dispersal.

But CEXs like OKX are aimed at retail, not experts.

Are retail users really expected to know about trust assumptions around proxy implementations, or know to revoke deprecated contracts?

Well that’s CeDeFi innovation for you… making sure you can get rekt by CEX private key leaks even on-chain.

OKX initially promised $370k to reimburse victims in their response, before moving on to more important topics.

Will they cover the rest?

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