Home - Blockchain - $610 Million Stolen Cryptocurrency Finally Returned by Hacker

George Spencer

August 24, 2021

$610 Million Stolen Cryptocurrency Finally Returned by Hacker

The hacker behind a the biggest cryptocurrency heist of all time finally returns all of the stolen funds.

Widely known as Mr. White Hat, the hacker began returning assets almost instantly after the heist was revealed, evidently moving funds little by little. On Monday morning, Poly Network, a decentralized finance platform, or DeFi, that works across blockchains, was contacted by the hacker, who provided a private key to the remainder of the outstanding funds.

Poly Network lets people swap tokens across multiple blockchains, including popular cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin and Ethereum. “At this point, all the user assets that were transferred during the incident have been fully recovered,” the company said and added that it’s now working to return the assets to their owners.

The decentralized finance platform had reported earlier this month that over $600 million USD in various cryptocurrencies was stolen by a hacker. The heist was considered to be one the largest ever made. The hacker had exploited a vulnerability in the Poly Network’s code and that was what allowed them to transfer the funds.

$273 million of Ethereum tokens, $253 million in tokens on Binance Smart Chain and $85 million in USDC on the Polygon network was stolen in the first attack.

For several weeks, Poly Network kept in touch with the hacker, and even offered them a $500,000 bug bounty to return the stolen funds and inviting them to act as the company’s chief security advisor. The company additionally promised to release an additional bounty program worth $500,000 on the Immunefi platform meant to encourage researchers to find and report additional security flaws in the code.

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The hacker promptly turned down the bounty and in returning some of the final funds, they even left a message for the platform apologizing for the inconvenience and asking it to share out the assets to the victims of the hack. It’s not exactly clear why the hacker decided to return the money all of a sudden, but it is reported that there was a message included in the digital currency transaction by an anonymous person who claimed to be the hacker. They said the reason for returning the money was because they wanted to quit the show. 

The person added that, “My actions, which may be considered weird, are my efforts to contribute to the security of the Poly project in my personal style.”

Some people are starting to suspect that the whole scenario is a PR stunt.