Hackers who stole digital assets worth more than $600 million from Poly Network have returned some of these assets worth $260 million. About twenty-four hours ago, Poly Network reported that hackers had exploited a vulnerability and stolen digital assets worth a total of $610 million from the platform. According to Chinalysis, the hackers exploited a vulnerability in the digital contracts Poly Network uses to move assets between different blockchains.
Poly Network took to Twitter to announce the incident of Wednesday. It also urged the hacker(s) to return the funds and promised to take legal actions to ensure that the funds are returned. “The amount of money you hacked is the biggest in DeFi history”, Poly Network tweeted.
According to numerous sources, the hacker(s) who stole the digital assets did it for fun and wanted to break the vulnerability first. According to CoinDesk, at about 4:00 UTC on Wednesday, the hacker said in a message embedded in an Ethereum transaction with themselves that they were ready to return the funds. In another message, they said they had failed to contact Poly Network and asked for a multi-signature wallet to return the loot. The report also stated that the hacker said they were already a “legend” after pulling off what some, including China-based Poly Network, have described as the largest DeFi hack in history. The hacker(s) also revealed that it was always their intention to return the funds and that they were not interested in money. Tom Robinson, the co-founder of Elliptic, begged to differ. He said that the decision to return the money could have been a result of the imminent dangers of laundering stolen crypto of that amount. “Even if you can steal crypto assets, laundering them and cashing out is extremely difficult, due to the transparency of the blockchain and the broad use of blockchain analytics by financial institutions”, he said.
The hackers sent the funds to three different addresses after stealing them, and Poly Network has since requested crypto platforms to blacklist funds coming from those addresses. As of yesterday, $33 million worth of Tether that was part of the stolen coin has been frozen by its issuer. Other issuers had also promised to help Poly Network to the best of their abilities.
For now, the hacker(s) has not been identified and it is still unclear if and when the balance of over $300 million will be returned.
Poly Network remains a decentralized finance platform that facilitates peer-to-peer transactions, only that this time it is still counting a loss of more than $300 million worth of cryptocurrency. This case might also be the biggest cryptocurrency currency heist as it outweighs the Mt. Gox exchange case which collapsed in 2014 after losing half a billion dollars in bitcoin, Coincheck’s case in 2018 after losing $530 million worth of digital coins and $474 million in criminal losses CipherTrace said were registered by the entire DeFi sector from January to July.
Poly Network has refused to respond to requests for details about the issue.