The incident saw swift reactions from Tether and major crypto exchanges to quickly freeze crypto assets associated with the attack, preventing roughly 22% of breached funds from being stolen. KuCoin says it has since recovered 80% of the stolen funds.

Citing sources familiar with the incident, the U.N. report cites asserts the attackers breached the exchange by exploiting the smart contracts of DeFi protocols:

“The attackers exploited ‘DeFi’ protocols — i.e., smart contracts that facilitate automated transactions.”