19 Dec, 23

The Ledger Hack: What Happened?

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The December 2023 Ledger hack is a significant event in the cryptocurrency world, highlighting the vulnerabilities in digital asset security. This article delves into the incident, examining its origins, impact, response, and broader implications for the crypto industry.

In December 2023, Ledger, a renowned crypto hardware wallet manufacturer, experienced a significant security breach. This hack not only raised concerns over the safety of digital assets but also sparked debates about the security practices of companies within the crypto space.

The Origin of the Hack

The breach originated when a hacker accessed the NPMJS account of a former Ledger employee through a phishing attack. NPMJS is a platform for hosting code packages for developers. The crypto community raised concerns over why a former employee retained access to such critical company data​​. After gaining access, the hacker uploaded a malicious version of the Ledger Connect Kit library, a tool allowing hardware wallets to connect to web browsers and other platforms​​.

Impact on Decentralized Applications

The hack impacted multiple Ethereum-based decentralized applications (DApps), including Zapper, SushiSwap, Phantom, Balancer, and Revoke.cash. The malicious code employed a fake WalletConnect to redirect funds to the hacker’s wallet, affecting any user attempting to connect to these DApps. Notably, the exploit did not impact user funds stored directly on Ledger devices​​​​.

Ledger’s Response and Remedial Actions

Ledger responded by fixing the issue within 40 minutes of discovery, confirming that the malicious file was available for about 5 hours. The company worked with WalletConnect to shut down the fake project and released a verified version of the Ledger Connect Kit. To enhance future security, Ledger made the connect-kit development team for the NPM project read-only and updated secrets for publication on Ledger’s GitHub repository​​​​.

Community Reaction and Criticism

The crypto community’s reaction was mixed, with some advising the use of other wallet platforms and others calling for Ledger to open-source its code for greater transparency. The incident brought to light Ledger’s past security issues, with some community members expressing scepticism about the company’s commitment to operational security​​​​​​.

Broader Implications for Crypto Security

The Ledger hack underscores the ongoing challenges in securing digital assets, especially in the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector. It highlights the importance of robust security measures, regular audits, and the need for heightened user awareness in the crypto ecosystem​​​​.

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The December 2023 Ledger hack serves as a stark reminder of the vulnerabilities in the crypto space. While Ledger took swift action to mitigate the breach’s impact, the incident raises critical questions about security practices and user trust in digital asset management companies.


1. What exactly was compromised in the Ledger hack? The hack involved a phishing attack to access a former employee’s NPMJS account, leading to the uploading of a malicious version of the Ledger Connect Kit library.

2. Which applications were affected by the Ledger hack? Several Ethereum-based DApps were affected, including Zapper, SushiSwap, Phantom, Balancer, and Revoke.cash.

3. Were funds stored on Ledger devices affected by the hack? No, the hack did not impact user funds stored directly on Ledger devices.

4. How did Ledger respond to the hack? Ledger fixed the issue within 40 minutes, released a verified version of the Ledger Connect Kit, and enhanced security protocols for future protection.

5. What does the Ledger hack indicate about crypto security? The hack highlights the ongoing security challenges in the crypto space, emphasizing the need for robust security measures and user vigilance.

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