Hours after the closing of Bill Murray’s NFT auction that raised 119.2 ETH (around $185,000) for charity Thursday, a hacker stole the funds.
The hacker started to drain Murray’s personal wallet at around 7:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, according to on-chain data from Etherscan and details from Murray’s team. The unknown individual also attempted to take non-fungible tokens from the actor’s personal collection.
The high-profile hack showcases how even well-known celebrities can fall victim to crypto hackers and thieves. In Bill Murray’s case, though, the actor had the benefit of a wallet security team that protected him from the worst of the incident.
Murray’s wallet security team from NFT consultancy Project Venkman team stepped in to shield the actor’s NFTs by moving his high-priced JPEGs – including a Damien Hirst NFT, two CryptoPunks, a Pudgy Penguin, a Cool Cat and numerous Flower Girls – to a pair of safehouse wallets.
The hacker also tried to steal 800 NFTs from the Bill Murray collection that were sitting in the wallet, though Project Venkman said it foiled that attempt by moving those NFTs to a safehouse, too. They said they ran a script to automatically move the NFTs to safety.
They were less successful with protecting the funds. A representative confirmed the hacker made off with 119.2 ETH Murray had raised just one day before for a charity auction. The attacker sent the stolen funds to a wallet address tied to the crypto exchange Binance and Unionchain.ai, according to Murray’s team. The culprit has yet to be identified.
Though the original ETH is gone, a runner-up in the auction, Coinbase user Mishap72, has sent 120 ETH (around $187,500) to Chive Charities to replace what was lost, a representative of the marketplace told CoinDesk.
Murray’s team says it’s filed a police report and is working with crypto analytics firm Chainalysis to bring the attacker to justice. Chainalysis did not immediately respond to CoinDesk.