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Family savings: Investor lost 4 BTC using Bitcoin’s Lightning Network

Family savings: Investor lost 4 BTC using Bitcoin’s Lightning Network

A Portuguese Bitcoin (BTC) investor and advocate, Hugo Ramos, lost 4.07 BTC ($164,500) in a bug exploit. Ramos was the victim in this ‘hack,’ which exploited a bug within a Lightning Network plugin called LNbank.

Sadly, the hacked amount was the invertor’s almost entire holdings, according to a Brazilian media outlet, Livecoins, that first reported the story on December 11. In this context, he started a crowdfunding campaign aiming to retrieve what he deemed to be “almost all” his family’s savings.

“On December 6th, I woke up and realized that most of my LN node balance had been stolen. (…) At this point (about 20 minutes after waking up), 407,361,805 SATS (4.07 BTC) had been drained. I decided to shut down the node.”

— Hugo Ramos

The LNBank bug

LNBank is a Lightning Network plugin developed by Dennis Reimann at BTCPay Server. Notably, Reimann posted about the bug on NOSTR two days after the incident with the Portuguese Bitcoin investor.

“I’ve been notified of a critical vulnerability in the LNBank plugin! I recommend all instances running LNBank to update immediately to LNBank v1.8.9 to mitigate this critical vulnerability.”

— Dennis Reimann
Dennis Reimann on NOSTR about the LNBank bug. Source: Livecoins

To which Hugo Ramos replied:

“Thanks for the late ‘heads up’. On past Wednesday, 4BTC were stolen from my LN node because of the LNbank bug. Any chance you can help me in any way? I lost almost all my life savings.”

— Hugo Ramos

Who is Hugo Ramos, the investor who lost 4 BTC?

Hugo Ramos lives in El Salvador and is a controversial figure in the local Bitcoin community. He is a self-proclaimed “toxic maximalist” and has community accusations of hateful manifestations.

Interestingly, Ramos started to demand support from related and non-related entities of the bug. Besides asking for the LNBank developers’ help, the investor also messaged the Czech exchange Anycoin and Bitlifi wallet. According to him, part of the stolen Bitcoins were sent to these crypto wallets.

“If KYC is not about preventing cases like this or punishing criminals, then what is it for?”

— Hugo Ramos

However, another commentator called Ramos out:

“Hard lesson to learn, but it was no one’s responsibility but your own. Try to get back to standing. Stop pointing fingers. You are the only one to blame. Sorry.”

The Lightning Network is still an experimental project created to scale Bitcoin. Users and investors should not keep relevant amounts in an experimental environment. Moreover, it is also recommended to avoid installing third-party applications in the same device holders store their wallets.

Unfortunately, it is now very unlikely that Hugo Ramo will retrieve the stolen funds worth more than $164,500 by press time. 

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