Hackers have returned nearly half of their $600 million crypto theft.
The cybercriminals used a flaw in Poly Network, a platform that aims to connect different blockchains.
Poly Network announced the attack Tuesday and urged the hackers to “return the hacked assets.”
A blockchain is a public ledger of transactions used by cryptocurrencies. Each digital coin has its own blockchain, which is unique. Poly Network claims to be able to connect these blockchains.
POLYNETWORK DECENTRALIZED FUNDING By eliminating intermediaries like brokerages and exchanges, DeFi is a broad term encompassing blockchain-based financial applications. So it’s decentralized.
Proponents claim this can speed up and reduce the cost of financial transactions.
“You hacked the largest amount of money in defi history,” Poly Network tweeted.
Hackers return funds
On Wednesday, the hackers started returning some of the funds they stole.
They said they were “ready to return” the funds in a cryptocurrency transaction to Poly Network. So the money was sent to three crypto addresses, according to DeFi.
By 7 a.m. London time, the Poly Network addresses had received over $4.8 million. Around $258 million had been returned by 11 a.m. ET.
In an email, Elliptic Chief Scientist Tom Robinson said that even if you can steal cryptoassets, laundering and cashing them out is difficult due to blockchain transparency and the use of blockchain analytics.
“In this case, the hacker decided to return the stolen assets.”
The hackers then began sending the funds to other cryptocurrency addresses. Three addresses received almost $610 million in cryptocurrency, according to SlowMist.
“We’ve captured the attacker’s mailbox, IP, and device fingerprints,” SlowMist said in a tweet.
“Long-planned, organized, and prepared attack” was the researchers’ conclusion.
Poly Network urged cryptocurrency exchanges to “blacklist tokens” from the hackers’ addresses.
The theft resulted in a $33 million Tether freeze, according to the stablecoin’s issuer.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao confirmed he was aware of the attack.
Binance is “coordinating with all our security partners to help,” but “there are no guarantees,” he said.
“We will sue and demand the assets back,” Poly Network tweeted.
Rising DeFi hacking
Attackers have targeted DeFi.
According to cryptocurrency compliance company CipherTrace, DeFi-related hacks totaled $361 million from January to July.
DeFi fraud is also rising. It accounted for 54% of total crypto fraud in the first seven months of the year versus 3% last year.