An individual or group of individuals who made off with a total of over $600 million in cryptocurrency tokens from Poly Network, a blockchain-based platform, yesterday had returned almost all of the stolen funds, even though various cryptocurrency experts and businesses volunteered to follow the hacker’s crypto activity on the blockchain.
However, the identity of the perpetrator and how exactly the funds were stolen remained unknown. On Wednesday, multiple transactions showing the addresses linked to Poly’s hacker began to refund the approximately $610 million in bitcoin that had been taken from the exchange.
A White Hat Hacker?
Tether’s sole outstanding assets are USDT tokens worth $33 million, which the company claimed it froze on Tuesday to prevent the hacker from transferring the money.
— Paolo Ardoino (@paoloardoino) August 10, 2021
In a four-part Q&A Thursday, the hacker has claimed to be “hacking for good” and has expressed joy over the theft.
Over the course of two days, the money has been refunded. A few days ago, the hacker restored $256 million worth of the cryptocurrency stolen from users, including bitcoin-tied BNB (Binance Smart Chain), ether (ETH), and BUSD (BUSD is a stablecoin pegged to the value of the US dollar).
On August 10, 2018, the biggest amount of money to date was taken in a massive DeFi breach. The cryptocurrencies on the Poly Network were stolen from Poly, a cross-chain technology that allows cryptocurrency users to move tokens across blockchains. The hacker exploited a weakness in the network to get access to enough money on many blockchains to transfer to their own accounts.
By exchanging bitcoin transactions carrying messages for each other, the hacker and Poly Network of Networks connected. The hacker insisted that they could have kept on siphoning even more money from the organization and sought contributions to persuade others to agree with their choice to return it. To let the users know that Tether had frozen part of the money, they also tipped one user.
What is Poly Network?
Although Poly Network is somewhat lesser-known in the crypto industry, it is a decentralized finance (DeFi) network that focuses on peer-to-peer token transfers or swaps, in particular. Let’s say, for example, that a client wants to move funds such as bitcoin from the Ethereum blockchain to the Binance Smart Chain.
Da Hongfei, a Chinese entrepreneur, is the founder of Poly Network, a blockchain network that is now headed by Neo, another Chinese platform. Switcheo, Ontology, and Neo’s Poly Network are listed as partners on Neo’s website. Binance’s Smart Chain, Ethereum, and Polygon blockchains are used by Poly Network. A smart contract provides instructions on when to exchange assets between blockchains.
According to the CipherTrace crypto intelligence company, one of the smart contracts Poly Network employs to move tokens across blockchains has a significant amount of liquidity to enable users to effectively exchange tokens.
Poly Network made the early determination that the hackers successfully exploited a vulnerability in this smart contract after the intrusion on Tuesday.