Poly Network’s attacker returns a portion of the stolen funds and holds an AMA

on Aug 12, 2021
  • Poly Network was recently hit in what was described as the largest DeFi hack ever.
  • The attacker stole $612 million, after which they returned $258m, and held an AMA.
  • During the AMA, they said that they did it for fun, but were displeased with the Poly team’s response.

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Cryptocurrency hacks have become a common sight in the industry, despite all the measures that exchanges, trading platforms, and other types of crypto businesses have implemented to protect themselves. However, one attack that took place only days ago — the Poly Network hack — resulted in a theft of $612 million, which is arguably one of the largest hits in the recent period.

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Not only that, but it is the largest DeFi hack to date. But, soon after successfully conducting the attack, the hacker who did it returned as much as $258 million to the cross-chain DeFi protocol. In addition, they also decided to hold an AMA and explain how the hack went down, in detail.

What happened?

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As some may know, the attack took place on August 10th, when the hacker managed to steal assets from three major chains — Ethereum, Binance Chain, and Polygon Network. But, less than 24 hours later, the chief scientist of Elliptic — a well-known blockchain analytics firm — Tom Robinson, reported that the hacker returned roughly $258 million, and has kept the remaining $342 million.

The attacker said multiple times that they are willing to return the stolen funds, which made some people assume that it might be a white hack attack, meant to demonstrate Poly’s security flaws. But, Robinson doesn’t seem to share this view, who suggested that the funds may have been returned because, even though they can be stolen, it is still very difficult to launder them and cash out.

What did the hacker say?

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The hacker’s AMA took place via embedded messages in ETH transactions, where they revealed that they conducted the attack purely for fun, noting that ‘cross-chain hacking is hot.’

The messages even indicate that the hacker is now asking for help and guidance on how to deposit the stolen funds into Tornado Cash — a decentralized protocol for private ETH transactions.

When asked why they started selling and swapping the stolen cryptos, the hacker said that they were displeased with the Poly team and its initial response. As for the Poly team, they posted an open letter for the hacker, requesting them to return the stolen funds, and saying that the law enforcement in any country will view this as a crime, warning them that they will be pursued.