Hacker Returns $256M of $600 Million Cryptocurrency Haul (Updated)

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Update 8/11/2021 8am PT: the hacker has now returned $256 million, with more being returned by the moment. 

Original article:

That was quick. The hacker who stole approximately $600 million worth of various cryptocurrencies from Poly Network has returned millions of dollars from their haul, The Block reported, after creating a token called "The hacker is ready to surrender."

It's not hard to guess why the hacker waved the white flag: A blockchain security firm called SlowMist claimed to have identified them and collected their email address, IP address, and device fingerprint just hours after Poly Network revealed the attack. 

Optimism developer Kelvin Fichter also shared on Twitter some details about how the hacker managed to exploit flaws in Poly Network's system to conduct this heist.

For the non-developers out there, Fichter summarized the flaw with the following: "Fantastic. No private key compromise required! Just craft the right data and boom... the contract will just hack itself!" Which appears to be exactly what the hacker did.

Poly Network has confirmed the hacker started to return stolen funds today: 

That's approximately $4.7 million of the stolen $600 million-plus recovered so far. Now the question is if whoever stole those cryptocurrencies plans to return their entire haul or if they're going to keep a little something to themselves for their effort.

Nathaniel Mott
Freelance News & Features Writer

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.

  • Krotow
    Without knowing why thief returned stolen crypto, we can only speculate. Maybe he got hefty payment from elsewhere, when successfully proved the possibility to stole that crypto. Maybe someone got him and "properly" negotiated. Soldering iron in arse for these guys do wonders.