Skyward Finance - REKT

Skyward Finance has come crashing down to earth.

The NEAR-based token launchpad had its treasury drained of 1.1M NEAR, worth approximately $3.2M at the time.

The exploit caused the price of SKYWARD to tank by ~90%:

Rather than the usual damage-control and downplaying, the team’s announcement concedes that the exploit “render[ed] the Treasury and the $SKYWARD token effectively worthless.

Going on to explain that the contracts are fully immutable, the Skyward assured any projects currently launching via the platform that “existing and previous sales are not affected, so funds and proceeds can be withdrawn safely.

But there was no such good news for Skyward holders:

We recommend users to withdraw their funds safely where they can and for the community to no longer interact with Skyward.

Was this incident an honest, albeit simple, mistake?

Or a planned ejector seat?

Credit: Sanket Naikwadi, BlockSec

Shortly after 5pm UTC yesterday, the exploiter redeemed (previously accumulated) SKYWARD for wNEAR from the treasury using the redeem_skyward function.

However, the function lacks proper verification of the token_account_ids parameter, allowing the attacker to loop the redemption of wNEAR by repeatedly passing their withdrawal within the transaction.

The exploiter repeated the exploited redemption process until the treasury had been drained of wNEAR.

Exploiter’s address: 5ebc5ecca14a44175464d0e6a7d3b2a6890229cd5f19cfb29ce8b1651fd58d39

Attack tx: 92Gq7zeh…

The fact that it took over a year for anyone to find this relatively simple exploit is remarkable.

Perhaps hackers are less familiar with the NEAR ecosystem and feel their time and resources can be put to use more profitably elsewhere…

Or maybe this was a planned exit-by-exploit, and the users were right to be concerned before launch…

This is the first leaderboard entry (#88) for a NEAR-based project; let’s hope we can learn something from it…

When headed Skyward, don't fly too NEAR to the sun.

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