The hacker behind one of the biggest cryptocurrency thefts to date has recovered nearly half of the stolen $600m (£433m) assets
On Tuesday, the affected firm, Poly Network, wrote a letter on Twitter asking someone to contact them “to develop a solution.”
The hacker then posted messages claiming he was “not very interested in the money”, promising to return the money.
Poly Network said on Wednesday it had earned $260 million back.
Cryptocurrency heist hacker returns $260m in funds:
The company, a blockchain platform that allows users to exchange different digital tokens, said on Twitter that three cryptocurrencies were sent back, namely $3.3 million Ethereum, $256 million Binance Coin and $1 million Polygon.
A total of $269 million in ether tokens and $84 million in Polygon tokens have yet to be recovered.
Blockchain is a ledger for every transaction made from a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin.
The ledger is distributed to all users in the network to control all new transactions, rather than having any authority.
According to Tom Robinson, co-founder of Elliptic, a London-based blockchain analytics and compliance firm, the hacker posted a three-page question-and-answer session on one of the blockchains, which is essentially a self-interview.
The hacker claimed that he always planned to return the tokens and said the heist was done to highlight vulnerabilities in the Poly Network program.
“I know people suffer when attacked, but shouldn’t they learn from these hooks?” The hacker wrote in notes posted on the Ethereum blockchain.
The hacker claimed he was looking for a loophole to exploit all night. They said they were concerned that Poly Network would silently fix the vulnerability without telling anyone, so they decided to buy a multi-million dollar cryptocurrency token just to get to a point.
However, they stressed that they did not want to create “a real panic in the crypto world”, so they stressed that they only took “significant amounts of money” and left behind the cryptocurrency Dogecoin, which started with a joke.
“They either just wanted to steal and steal, or they acted like white hat hackers to help Poly Network make themselves stronger and safer,” said Mr Robinson, a regular adviser to governments and law enforcement agencies. He told the BBC about crimes related to cryptocurrency.
He added that the essence of blockchain technology makes it difficult for cybercriminals to earn money by stealing the digital currency, because anyone can see the money being transferred over the network to the hackers’ wallets.
“Interestingly, this hacker stole the money, realized how much advertising and attention they were getting, figured out where the money they were tracking was going, and decided to return it,” Robinson said.
“The blockchain itself works perfectly here, but the problem is with blockchains like Ethereum, you can write your own smart contracts. Various services have started offering this, including Poly Network.
“So every time someone writes code, there’s a chance of making mistakes.”
How does this work
The Poly Network platform works like selling Binance Coin to Ether by facilitating movement between multiple blockchains when people exchange one cryptocurrency for another.
“Poly Networking is something that makes it easy to navigate chains – it’s software, it’s code, and code always has flaws and flaws,” said James Chappell, co-founder of London-based cybersecurity firm Digital Shadows. , told the BBC.
“And that’s true for banks or any financial system. Unfortunately, what’s happening here is that one party sees a weakness in implementation and cheats the network to misrepresent these verses.”
Similar attacks have occurred on several services over the past 12 months. These include:
- Yearn Finance, where $11 million was stolen by hackers in February;
- Alpha Finance, which stole $37 million in the same month;
- and Meerkat Finance, $32 million was released by hackers in March.
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