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Anonymous hacker stole $ 600 million in cryptocurrency, then returned it


Washington
CNN Business

An anonymous hacker who stole more than $ 600 million from the decentralized financial platform Poly Network this week returned almost all of the money – and apparently turned down a reward of half a million dollars. dollars offered by the company for exposing its security vulnerability.

The bizarre result crowns an unusual cryptocurrency heist that has been dubbed the biggest in industry history.

In a message posted to Twitter On Thursday, Poly Network said the hacker – whom he calls “Mr. White Hat,” a term that refers to an ethical hacker who raises awareness of security breaches – returned all stolen funds except of a small percentage that had been frozen by the cryptocurrency issuer Tether as a result of the hack.

The money was deposited into an account that the company and the hacker must jointly manage.

“To ensure the safe recovery of user assets, we hope to maintain communication with Mr. White Hat and convey accurate information to the public,” Poly Network said.

Reuters reported on Friday that the company thanked the hacker and asked for his continued contribution to the industry’s security.

In messages accompanying the returned funds released by blockchain forensics firm Chainalysis, the hacker claimed it was “still the plan” to return the money.

“I’m _not_ interested in money!” The hacker said, adding, “I would say understanding the blind spot in Poly Network’s architecture would be one of the best times of my life.”

According to Channel analysis and transaction notes shared by Tom robinson, co-founder of the forensic firm Elliptic, Poly Network had offered a bounty of $ 500,000 to the hacker. Although it appears the hacker admitted to receiving a bounty offer, it was never accepted, according to the notes. “Instead, I will return all of their money,” the hacker said.

It would have been extremely difficult for the hacker to spend the stolen funds, say forensic experts. The fact that blockchain transactions are publicly recorded makes it difficult to launder money anonymously.

“The best they can hope for would be to escape capture as funds are frozen in a blacklisted private wallet,” Chainalysis wrote in his blog post.

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