Decentralized exchange Merlin was hacked, losing $1.82 million in USDC tokens from a liquidity pool. The exploit targeted the smart contracts of the pool, built on zkSync. The Merlin team has not made a statement on the incident, and the community has called on Circle to freeze the funds. The hack is the latest in a string of attacks on DeFi platforms despite undergoing audits, causing the community to question the efficacy of audits in ensuring security. Merlin, which launched a few days prior, received an audit from CertiK, a well-known security firm, but has faced criticism along with other audited projects like PancakeBunny, Uranium Finance, and Meerkat Finance. The incident raises concerns about the quality of audits and the need for robust designs in DeFi projects.