• Chris Bratton - Tech Journalist

Hackers stole $600 million worth of crypto from Poly Network, later returned it

Poly Network (Defi) recently got hacked, and a large sum was stolen from their balance. The heist was a surprising one, but later, the hackers returned almost the whole amount of $600 million of Ethereum to the network. As the platform recovered from the financial attack, they are returning the funds to its customers, which as a whole, is a bizarre story.

The largest cryptocurrency heist ever occurred recently, with an unusual twist: hackers stole more than $600 million from Poly Network, one of the largest blockchain platforms. The incident took place on Tuesday when hackers sent the stolen cryptocurrency back from where they found it. Cryptocurrency experts and businesses band together to see transactions for that amount to track down the hackers. So before doing any crypto activity and getting tracked, they returned almost the whole amount. Till now, hackers’ identity or how the incident took place is not clear to us. In response, Poly Network sent out a Tweet saying ‘Dear “Hacker,” Thank you! We are ready for a new journey.’ The incident seems like a small-scale movie where everything turned out ok!

Publicly stored blockchain reveals that most funds are returned to the original network. On early Wednesday, hackers started returning the balance in blocks, and nearly $610 million worth of crypto has been deposited. The chief scientist at blockchain analytic company Elliptic, Tom Robinson, cleared up the matter as the whole amount is not sent in a single transaction. $267 million is received through the ether, through Binance coins $252 is returned; another estimated $55 million was returned in the form of tokens pegged to the U.S. dollar. While most of the balance returned, and Poly Network started the regular transaction to customers, $33 million is yet to be returned, valued in USDT tokens. Tether took a while to report the incident to Forbes as the account was frozen so that the hacker would not be able to move funds quickly. Tom said, “I think this demonstrates that even if you can steal crypto-assets, laundering them and cashing out is extremely difficult, due to the transparency of the blockchain and the use of blockchain analytics.”

The hacker seems to keep notes of personal touch with each transaction, as the intention was to test Poly Networks vulnerability. Notes said “hacking for good” or “one of the best moments in my life.” As funds returned to the original wallets, everything seems to run smoothly as we talk.

The heist came to everyone’s attention when Poly Network started a series of Tweets regarding the matter. One of them was published with different cryptocurrency wallet addresses to return the currency. They mentioned that the stolen money belongs to “tens of thousands of crypto community members.” More than 12 different types of cryptocurrencies were stolen from the platform, which the hackers tried to transfer into three other wallets to liquidity pool in Curve.fi. The transfer was rejected as Poly Network, experts, and crypto network management blocked these actions of a certain amount because they were pre-guided.

The sector is always under the keen eyes of government and finance entities. Through that, SEC chairman Gary Gensler said their decentralised finance platforms (Defi) are booming, and government scrutiny in this “Wild West” space is well-deserved. More than 75% of cryptocurrencies happened that consists of Defi collaboration. According to crypto data website CoinGecko, Defi is worth $103 billion with the total market value of all decentralised finance tokens, including Poly Networks. A recent crash in the crypto market took place, which causes crypto prices to drop 50% but later started to rise again. More mandatory security layers and entities are required as it was a pentest that caused the biggest crypto hack ever.