An exploit in the NFT (Non-Fungible Token) platform Meebits, developed by the developers of the CryptoPunks collectibles “OG”, allowed a user to cheat the system and get an extremely rare NFT which they can immediately buy for 200 Ethereum (currently around $ 765,000 sold).
Recently, CryptoPunks have become the “hottest stuff” amid the ongoing NFT madness, even outperforming giants like NBA Top Shots. For example, the legendary auction house Christie’s will bet $ 9 million worth of CryptoPunks for sale next week.
To capitalize on this success, CryptoPunks developer Larva Labs started a new NFT project called Meebits earlier this week. These collectibles work in much the same way, except that instead of randomly generated pixelated images of “punks”, each meebit is represented as a blocky 3D model à la Minecraft.
Buy one, get one for free
As a “loyalty” gesture, Larva Labs granted all existing CryptoPunks owners a certain number of attempts to mint meebits one-to-one. At the same time, the rarity of freshly minted meebits should be random, similar to the so-called “loot boxes” that are so popular with game developers today.
However, some users quickly discovered a way to cheat the system by “rolling” their meebits again. This was possible because the project’s smart contract included an archived file that contained the characteristics of the ID of each token. Knowing this, tech-savvy users could simply abandon creating “low quality” meebits until they get a really rare NFT.
1 / Meebits Exploit Roundup – @ 0xNietzsche posted a notice that they are up to something https://t.co/91z814T9tk pic.twitter.com/CaNgJe2KgF
– Sillytuna @ (@sillytuna) May 8, 2021
One such user, nicknamed “0xNietzsche”, decided to take full advantage of the exploit and bragged on Twitter that such an attack would make him “300,000 an hour” – and was ultimately victorious.
According to Etherscan 0xNietzsche initiated more than 300 transactions in an effort to mint an expensive meebit, most of which have been canceled. In the end, he managed to shape An extremely rare meebit in visitor quality and put it up for sale almost immediately for 300 Ethereum ($ 1.15 million) on the NFT marketplace OpenSea, but then lowered the price to 200 ETH.
Pranksy, a well-known crypto and NFT whale, then quickly bought the meebit and may not even know about the exploit.
Step 1) Get tagged in @larvalabs @discord.
Step 2) See visitor #Meebit for 200 ETH ($ 700K) on @opensea.
Step 3) Buy #Meebit
Step 4) Learn about Mint Exploit, exploit closed by @larvalabs.
Step 5) Press and hold visitor #Meebit # 16647
https://t.co/MlBqZc5Mxq#NFTs #AlwaysLiquid pic.twitter.com/vxHMqj13SE
– Pranksy 📦 (@pranksyNFT) May 8, 2021
Meanwhile, 0xNietzsche’s wins may not have been as impressive as he’d hoped. According to the company, the operation cost around $ 20,000 per hour in transaction fees. He also had to buy more CryptoPunks that had not yet redeemed Meebits. Ultimately, the user earned “50 ETH and 5 floor punks,” he said in a now-deleted tweet.
When the exploit was published, Larva Labs stopped minting and trading in the Meebits market.
“We have temporarily interrupted the minting of coins and the trade in meebits. The contract is secure, all meebits are secure and trading works flawlessly, ”the developers announced on their Discord channel.
7 / By @larvalabs Discord pic.twitter.com/kUNkLPNFx7
– Sillytuna @ (@sillytuna) May 8, 2021
So that other users can mint their meebits and at the same time prevent exploitation, Larva Labs provide them with a form in which you can use your wallet to sign a message proving ownership of your punks / glyphs, and we will co-mint the meebits for you the function ‘devMint’. ”
Meanwhile, Pranksy has already put the “visitor” Meebit up for sale for 369.69 ETH ($ 1.4 million), apparently to double its initial investment. That is, of course, if someone wants to pay nearly a million and a half dollars for an “exploited” NFT.
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