The crypto market has been rocked by the news of what might be the biggest DeFi hack in history. On August 10th, the exploitation on the Poly Network saw the hacker(s) make away with more than $600 million in crypto. A hack that shook the entire DeFi market to its very core.
The hacker made off with a loot of over $200 million in ETH. And hundreds of millions in tokens. After a warning from a user warning that their USDT address had been blacklisted, the hacker then sent approximately $42K in ETH to the address which issued the warning. Resulting in hundreds of transactions being sent to the hacker’s address asking for money.
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This culminated in a three-day rollercoaster of emotions and negotiations. The team behind the Poly Network, in a desperate attempt, penned a letter to the hacker. Begging for the stolen funds to be returned to them. And to much surprise, the hacker listened. They agreed to return the funds. But they asked that a multisig wallet address be provided for the crypto to be transferred into.
Hacker Begins To Return Stolen Crypto
Following the provision of the wallet, the hacker began the process of returning the crypto. At first, the hacker return SHIB tokens and other tokens. Which amounted to over $250 million. But there was still a large part of the loot left behind in the hacker’s wallet. The Poly Network team confirmed this in a tweet following the return.
Update: PolyNetwork hackers have returned $253 million on the BSC chain. pic.twitter.com/jO0SiWDtyP
— Wu Blockchain (@WuBlockchain) August 11, 2021
Various wallets addresses were provided for the hacker to send the crypto into. Including an ETH wallet, a BSC wallet, and a Polygon wallet. All multisig wallets according to the specifications of the hacker. Which they had requested because they said there was a failed connection to the Poly Network.
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Less than 24 hours ago, the Poly team again took to Twitter to announce more returns. This time stating that the hacker had returned most of the stolen crypto to them. All assets had been sent to the multisig wallets provided by the Poly Network. Except for the frozen USDT.
Why Is The Hacker Doing This?
Speculations were that the identity of the hacker had been compromised. Hence their willingness to return such a massive amount back to the network. But the hacker denied all of these. Saying that they had taken adequate precautions to make sure they would not be identified. Such as using temporary fingerprint verification. Given that one of the information the security company, SlowMist announced they had acquired was the hacker’s fingerprint.
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Other speculations were that the stolen crypto was already tagged. In this case, there was no way the hacker would be able to spend the funds without exposing themselves. Every transaction would be tracked meticulously. Leading to the discovery of whoever was behind the wallets that the funds were transferred to.
A lot of back and forth had been had with the hacker before they agreed to return the funds. The hacker even went as far as hosting a Q&A session. Where they answer questions regarding the hack, like why they had done it. To which the hacker had asked what they would have done if faced with such an amount of money. Also stating that they “prefer to stay in the dark and save the world.”
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The stolen crypto are not fully released yet. Multisig wallets are secure in the fact that they require multiple signatures from involved parties. Hence, the hacker would still have to sign off on the wallets for the funds to be released to the Poly Network team. Once the final key is received from the hacker, then the team can regain access to both the assets and cross-chain services.
Featured image from ZDNet