The proprietor of the Dallas Mavericks saw a loss of approximately $870,000, although the potential losses could have been considerably higher.
By Pradeep Saran
Sep 17, 2023
Tech billionaire Mark Cuban had a rough ending to his week when he decided to re-engage with the world of cryptocurrencies after a period of inactivity, only to fall victim to a crypto scam on a late Friday evening. Blockchain observers quickly flagged suspicious transactions, allowing him to secure his other holdings, but he still incurred losses totaling $870,000 across various cryptocurrencies.
Cuban managed to retain the cryptocurrency he held on the Polygon (MATIC) network, but his wallet was emptied of stablecoins, Lido staked ETH, SuperRare, and Ethereum Name Service (.ens domains) tokens.
The first to notice the unusual activity was a pseudonymous on-chain investigator known as @WazzCrypto, who took to Twitter to ask, “Did Mark Cuban’s wallet just get drained?” He pointed out that Cuban’s wallet had been inactive for 160 days before the sudden movement of funds.
@WazzCrypto posted screenshots of crypto wallets associated with Cuban, highlighting what he considered “very ‘sus’ behavior.” Subsequent posts suggested that the entrepreneur had been alerted to the alleged hack, which was later confirmed by DL News, prompting him to move his $2 million worth of USDC to Coinbase.
DL News reported their contact with Cuban about the hack, to which he responded, “Someone got me for 5 ETH.” Cuban speculated that someone had been monitoring his online activities. He explained that he had recently accessed MetaMask, a browser-based crypto wallet, for the first time in months.
However, it’s likely that Cuban inadvertently downloaded a fake and fraudulent version of MetaMask. He revealed that he had been searching for information about Circle, a company undergoing significant expansion, and ended up downloading what he believed was MetaMask, but it turned out to be a compromised version.
The hack occurred when Cuban was attempting to manage his account on his mobile phone. He recounted, “MetaMask crashed a couple of times. I just stopped. Then you emailed me. So I locked my NFTs on OpenSea and transferred all my Polygon assets to a secure account,” as he shared with the media outlet.
Mark Cuban did not respond to Decrypt’s request for comment.
Cuban has been an enthusiastic supporter of cryptocurrencies and has championed Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and blockchain technology in previous discussions with Decrypt. The recent hack highlighted a point Cuban had hinted at before: the transparency of the blockchain, which may have saved him from more significant losses. “The whole point of the blockchain is that it’s 100% public,” he had emphasized, adding that he didn’t mind if people knew about his digital assets. This characteristic enabled blockchain analysts to detect the hack.
Cuban, acknowledging the lack of anonymity, disclosed that he manages numerous wallets and that most of his involvement in crypto is a learning experience. He concluded that the technology needs to become more user-friendly so that anyone, regardless of their celebrity status, can participate in it.