Attackers Exploit OpenSea Loophole to Snatch and Resell Rare NFTs

One attacker paid roughly $133,000 for seven NFTs before quickly flipping them for $934,000 worth of ether


Blockworks exclusive art by Axel Rangel


key takeaways

  • Coding bug enabled attackers to buy NFTs at previous sale prices and flip them for substantial profit
  • At least three attackers exploited users, according to blockchain analytics firm Elliptic

A bug in the OpenSea NFT marketplace has enabled hackers to snatch up rare NFTs from owners for far below market value and resell them for hefty profits. 

At least three attackers exploited a bug on the marketplace, making away with over $1 million as of Monday, according to blockchain analytics firm Elliptic. One of the alleged opportunists bought a Mutant Ape Yacht Club NFT for $10,600 worth of ether, selling it hours later for $34,800 worth of ether.

“The exploit appears to originate from the ability to re-list an NFT at a new price, without canceling the previous listing,” Elliptic said in a report. “Those previous listings are now being used to purchase NFTs at prices specified at some point in the past — which is often well below current market prices.”

One attacker, who goes by “jpegdegenlove” online, paid roughly $133,000 for seven NFTs before quickly flipping them on the platform for $934,000 worth of ether. 

Suspicious activity picked up over the past day but the bug has been present for weeks and was flagged in a Jan. 1 tweet. The marketplace was exploited over eight times in a roughly eight-hour-span on Monday morning. A wallet address associated with multiple purchases has made a total profit of $878,288 worth of ether from the exploit, according to blockchain analytics provider Nansen

“The fact that a user could buy at previous prices and flip NFTs without any form of verification points to the centralization issue in NFTs as they stand right now,” Jenna Pilgrim, CEO of blockchain media licensing startup Streambed, told Blockworks.

“OpenSea does a great job at creating a solid user interface, but unfortunately does so at the cost of security,” she added. 

In a turn of events, “jpegdegenlove” later compensated two of their victims, transferring them a combined total of $75,000 worth of ether, according to Elliptic. 

Charles Guillemet, CTO of hardware wallet developer Ledger, said that it is currently not safe for NFT holders to have their assets listed on OpenSea. “It’s very difficult to use this platform securely right now,” he said on a Twitter space Monday. “The only thing we can do is to mitigate the risk.”

OpenSea has yet to publicly address the exploit and did not immediately respond to Blockworks’ request for comment on the matter.

Don’t miss the next big story – join our free daily newsletter.


Upcoming Events

Hilton Metropole | 225 Edgware Rd, London

Mon - Wed, March 18 - 20, 2024

Crypto’s premier institutional conference returns to London in March 2024. The DAS: London Experience: Attend expert-led panel discussions and fireside chats Hear the latest developments regarding the crypto and digital asset regulatory environment directly from policymakers and experts.

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Top Icon.png


Osmosis thrived in H2 2023 on the back of increased DeFi activity deriving from recently launched Cosmos-related projects and better market conditions. With new value accrual mechanisms for the native token, Osmosis is well-positioned to continue its strong performance in 2024.



Continued demand for bitcoin ETFs coupled with greater demand for bitcoin from exchanges is contributing to price moves, analysts say


Morpho Blue is designed in a way where risk management is externalized, Morpho Labs’ CEO said


Snowflake, a cloud-based data warehouse solution, has partnered with Dune to make curated blockchain data available to its clients


Crypto is fast and it’s only getting faster as bitcoin threatens to retest its own highs set more than two years ago


The settlement ends the legal battle over, a domain once owned by imprisoned developer Virgil Griffith


TBC President Lee Bratcher told Blockworks he’s “confident” about the Council’s case against the DOE