Taking a Closer Look At Remitano Exploit

4 min read

Learn how Remitano was exploited, resulting in a loss of assets worth $2.7 million.


On September 14, 2023, the hot wallet of the Remitano exchange experienced suspicious transactions, leading to a loss of funds worth over $2.7 million.

Introduction to Remitano#

Remitano is a peer-to-peer crypto exchange and payment processor that focuses on emerging markets.

Vulnerability Assessment#

The root cause of the exploit is likely due to the compromise of the private keys.


Step 1:

The attack was vested on the Ethereum Mainnet when a Remitano hot wallet transferred multiple assets to an address with no prior transaction history.

Step 2:

The initial attack transaction included the transfer of 1,359,253 USDT from the wallet labeled `Remitano 2` to the address of the attacker. This was subsequently followed by the transfer of other assets, including 208,188 USDC and 104,360 Ankr tokens worth approximately $2000.

Step 3:

Following the community alert by a Web3 analytics firm, Tether was quick to react as they froze the address of the exploiter to further prevent them from cashing out USDT. This prevented the stolen assets, worth $1.4 million, from being circulated or moved any further.

Step 4:

The USDT on the Tron network was further frozen, thus helping the team secure approximately $537,000 worth of assets.

Step 5:

The remaining funds in Ankr and USDC were swapped for 162 ETH, worth $264,000, and then deposited to either Changelly or HitBTC.


The team acknowledged the occurrence of the exploit in a blog post roughly 24 hours after the incident took place. They stated that a small amount of funds from the exchange's hot wallets were transferred to suspicious wallet addresses through unauthorized withdrawal transactions.

Following this, the team immediately transferred users' funds to a secure cold wallet and initiated collaboration with cybersecurity and wallet partners to closely monitor and lock all of the funds accessed by the hackers.


The world of cryptocurrency has recently witnessed an alarming surge in hacks and exploits, predominantly due to private key compromises. September alone has been a testament to the vulnerability of the crypto infrastructure, as CoinEx suffered a staggering loss of around $59 million, while Stake was also exploited, resulting in a loss of $41 million. Such incidents not only shake the confidence of investors but also highlight the pressing need for enhanced security measures in the crypto domain.

It's imperative for individuals and institutions alike to be acutely aware of the risks associated with private key management. A compromised private key can lead to unauthorized access and the potential loss of assets, leading to catastrophic damages. The reasons for such compromises can vary, ranging from phishing attacks, malware infections, insider threats, and even simple human errors like misplacing a paper containing the key.

DeFi protocols, given their decentralized nature, are particularly susceptible to such threats. However, they can enforce enhanced security measures to mitigate these risks. Multi-signature wallets, for instance, require multiple private keys to authorize a transaction, thereby reducing the risk of a single point of failure. Time-locks can be implemented to delay large transactions, giving ample time for any anomalies to be detected and addressed. Additionally, regular audits by reputable firms can help in identifying and rectifying vulnerabilities in smart contracts.

Furthermore, user education is paramount. Individuals should be trained to recognize phishing attempts, use hardware wallets for storing their private keys, and regularly back up their keys in secure, offline environments. For businesses, strict access controls and regular security training for employees can significantly reduce the risk of insider threats.

Even the most stringent security protocols can sometimes fall short, leaving systems exposed to potential threats. In such scenarios, we at Neptune Mutual emerge as a beacon of hope. Had Remitano established a dedicated cover pool in our marketplace prior to its recent breach, the aftermath could have been considerably less devastating. We offer a safety net to users who find themselves at the receiving end of losses stemming from smart contract vulnerabilities, thanks to our innovative parametric policies.

One of the standout features of Neptune Mutual is our streamlined claims process. Users aren't burdened with the task of producing exhaustive evidence to substantiate their losses. Once an incident is verified and addressed through our incident resolution system, affected individuals can expect swift payouts, ensuring they're not left in prolonged financial distress.

Moreover, our expansive presence across multiple blockchain networks, such as EthereumArbitrum, and the BNB chain, underscores our commitment to catering to a wide spectrum of DeFi users. By providing coverage across these networks, we fortify our stance as a reliable protector against lurking vulnerabilities. We stand as a testament to security and assurance in a time when there are many uncertainties in the world of cryptocurrencies, ensuring that DeFi participants can operate with the assurance that their investments are well-protected.

Reference Source Cyvers