The largest-ever hack of a DeFi protocol seems to have been the work of a white hat hacker who intends to return the lost cryptocurrency
The hacker behind what is thought to be the biggest-ever hack of a decentralized finance project has begun returning the stolen funds from the hacking
Cross-chain protocol Poly Network was robbed of $612 million
in more than a dozen cryptocurrencies on August 10 in what it described
as the exploit
of “a vulnerability between contract calls.”
But in a $0 Ethereum transaction
at 3:48 a.m. UTC on August 11, the hacker embedded a very welcome message: “READY TO RETURN THE FUND!”
The hacker followed that up with another transaction message
reading, “IT'S ALREADY A LEGEND TO WIN SO MUCH FORTUNE. IT WILL BE AN ETERNAL LEGEND TO SAVE THE WORLD. I MADE THE DECISION, NO MORE DAO.”
After asking for a multisig wallet address, the hacker began returning
some of the loot at 8:46 a.m. UTC.
As of 11:47 a.m. UTC, Poly Network that received more than $4.7 million back, it tweeted
That happened after Poly Network reached out
to the hacker several times on Twitter, urging the return of the funds.
Aside from pointing out that law enforcement agencies around the world would likely pursue what they “will regard as a major economic crime,” Poly Network also pointed out that “[t]he money you stole are from tens of thousands of crypto community members, hence the people.”
The funds had been stolen from Poly Network’s Ethereum ($247 million), Binance Smart Chain ($254 million), and Polygon ($85 million) wallets.
While not on this scale, the DeFi sector has seen a blitz of hacks and exploits as it exploded onto the crypto scene in the last few years.
Blockchain research firm Messari reported in April that DeFi protocols had been robbed of $284 million
since 2019. Among the largest DeFi hacks was the April 19 theft of more than $120 million from EasyFi.
Check out our comprehensive list of the largest crypto hacks in history
, from the infamous Mt Gox. heist
to the KuCoin exchange hack in September 2020.