Safemoon Vulnerable Deployer Exploited

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Safemoon Logo/Homepage

SafeMoon is a human-focused technology and innovation business expanding blockchain technologies to build blockchain, commerce, metaverse, and NFT products for good. SafeMoon has faced criticism in the past, initially labeled as a pump and dump scheme, and later shillfluencers were slapped with a class action suit. The project claims to be un-ruggable due to locked liquidity, but the transfer fees were criticized as ponzinomics. SafeMoon recently suffered an attack that drained the SFM/BNB pool, causing the project to lose $8.9M worth of 'locked LP.' The hacker claims to have front-run the attack and has reached out to SafeMoon to negotiate the return of funds. However, the past on-chain activity suggests they may not be trustworthy.

This is a global/international case not involving a specific country.[1][2][3][4][5][6]

About Safemoon

"A human-focused technology and innovation business expanding blockchain technologies for a brighter tomorrow. Deeply connected to and driven by our award winning community (The SafeMoon Army), we are innovating for good. Building blockchain, commerce, metaverse and NFT products to derive new kinds of value from crypto technology and to apply it to increasingly better use."

"We are now addressing the second part of our mission – the expansion and channeling of our technology to propel new innovations for good, and a Venture Philanthropy model to advance those innovations to every part of the world."

"Initially labelled as a pump and dump scheme, Safemoon shillfluencers were later slapped with a class action suit, before Coffeezilla published a series of detailed investigations into what went on behind the scenes.

The favourite of tiktok investors during the peak of Spring 2021’s BSC hype, Safemoon claimed it was un-ruggable due to locked liquidity, which was topped-up with every transfer of tokens. However, the transfer fees were also criticised as ponzinomics as bagholders were disincentivised to sell."

"Just over six hours before the attack, the Safemoon: Deployer address upgraded the token contract to a new implementation. In doing so, the team introduced a vulnerability leading to an astonishingly simple exploit."

"The new code left the burn() function publicly callable, allowing anyone to burn SFM tokens from any address.

This allowed the attacker to burn large quantities of SFM held inside the SFM:BNB liquidity pool, vastly inflating the price of SFM tokens in the pool.

Then, by selling (previously acquired) SFM tokens into the skewed pool, the attacker was able to drain it of BNB liquidity, for a profit of 28k BNB, or $8.9M."

"Safemoon lost $8.9M worth of ‘locked LP’ thanks to a bug introduced in the project’s latest upgrade."

"The attack, which drained the SFM/BNB pool, was announced by the project and its CEO, John Karony, with replies disabled on both tweets.

A few hours after the attack, the hacker sent a message to the Safemoon: Deployer address, claiming to be MEV bot operator willing to return the funds:

Hey relax, we are accidently frontrun an attack against you, we would like to return the fund, setup secure communication channel , lets talk

However, past on-chain activity suggests they are no white knight after all…

Even if the team has dodged a bullet this time…

…can they be trusted after such a basic error?"

"The hacker claims to have frontrunned attack and has reached out to Safemoon to negotiate the return of funds, the majority of which have since been transferred to 0x237D where they remain at the time of writing."

"Whether a botched rug attempt, or sheer incompetence, this episode is not a good look for a project that was never very highly regarded."

This is a global/international case not involving a specific country.

The background of the exchange platform, service, or individuals involved, as it would have been seen or understood at the time of the events.


  • Known history of when and how the service was started.
  • What problems does the company or service claim to solve?
  • What marketing materials were used by the firm or business?
  • Audits performed, and excerpts that may have been included.
  • Business registration documents shown (fake or legitimate).
  • How were people recruited to participate?
  • Public warnings and announcements prior to the event.

Don't Include:

  • Any wording which directly states or implies that the business is/was illegitimate, or that a vulnerability existed.
  • Anything that wasn't reasonably knowable at the time of the event.

There could be more than one section here. If the same platform is involved with multiple incidents, then it can be linked to a main article page.

The Reality

This sections is included if a case involved deception or information that was unknown at the time. Examples include:

  • When the service was actually started (if different than the "official story").
  • Who actually ran a service and their own personal history.
  • How the service was structured behind the scenes. (For example, there was no "trading bot".)
  • Details of what audits reported and how vulnerabilities were missed during auditing.

What Happened

The specific events of the loss and how it came about. What actually happened to cause the loss and some of the events leading up to it.

Key Event Timeline - Safemoon Vulnerable Deployer Exploited
Date Event Description
March 28th, 2023 1:26:27 PM MDT Theft Transaction The transaction happens to remove the liquidity from Safemoon.

Technical Details

This section includes specific detailed technical analysis of any security breaches which happened. What specific software vulnerabilities contributed to the problem and how were they exploited?

Total Amount Lost

The total amount lost has been estimated at $8,900,000 USD.

How much was lost and how was it calculated? If there are conflicting reports, which are accurate and where does the discrepancy lie?

Immediate Reactions

How did the various parties involved (firm, platform, management, and/or affected individual(s)) deal with the events? Were services shut down? Were announcements made? Were groups formed?

Ultimate Outcome

What was the end result? Was any investigation done? Were any individuals prosecuted? Was there a lawsuit? Was any tracing done?

Total Amount Recovered

The total amount recovered is unknown.

What funds were recovered? What funds were reimbursed for those affected users?

Ongoing Developments

What parts of this case are still remaining to be concluded?

General Prevention Policies

Greater review and insight needs to happen prior to smart contract upgrades.

Individual Prevention Policies

No specific policies for individual prevention have yet been identified in this case.

For the full list of how to protect your funds as an individual, check our Prevention Policies for Individuals guide.

Platform Prevention Policies

Policies for platforms to take to prevent this situation have not yet been selected in this case.

For the full list of how to protect your funds as a financial service, check our Prevention Policies for Platforms guide.

Regulatory Prevention Policies

No specific regulatory policies have yet been identified in this case.

For the full list of regulatory policies that can prevent loss, check our Prevention Policies for Regulators guide.