Hackers steal $ 613 million in digital coins and then return $ 260 million to cryptocurrency platforms | #computerhacking | #hacking


London / Singapore / Hong Kong – Hackers behind the biggest crypto robbers in history have returned more than one-third of the stolen digital coins, the company at the heart of the hack said Wednesday.

PolyNetwork, a decentralized financial platform that facilitates peer-to-peer transactions, said on Twitter that $ 260 million of the stolen funds had been returned, but $ 353 million was unpaid.

The company, which allows users to exchange tokens between different blockchains, said it had been hacked on Tuesday, urging criminals to return the stolen funds and threatening legal action.

According to blockchain forensics company Chainalysis, hackers have exploited a vulnerability in digital contracts that PolyNetwork uses to move assets between different blockchains.

According to a digital message shared by Elliptic, crypto tracking company, Chainalysis, those who claim to have performed the hack perform it “for fun” and “expose the vulnerability” before others exploit it. I said I wanted to.

The alleged hacker added that returning tokens was “always a plan” and “I’m not very interested in money.”

No hacker or hacker has been identified, and Reuters was unable to verify the authenticity of the message.

Elliptic co-founder Tom Robinson said the decision to return the money could have been caused by the headache of laundering stolen cryptography on such a scale.

Cryptocurrency company Tether executives said on Twitter that they had frozen $ 33 million in connection with hacking, and other crypto exchange executives told Polynetwork that they would also help.

“Even if crypto assets can be stolen, it is very difficult to launder and cash out them due to the transparency of blockchain and the widespread use of blockchain analytics by financial institutions,” Robinson said. I am.

The polynetwork did not respond to the request for details. It was not immediately clear where the platform was based or whether law enforcement was investigating the robbery.

The scale of the theft was comparable to the $ 530 million digital coin stolen from the Tokyo-based exchange Coincheck in 2018. The Mt. Gox exchange, also based in Tokyo, collapsed in 2014 after losing $ 500 million in Bitcoin.

According to crypto intelligence company CipherTrace, polynetwork attacks result from record high losses from theft, hacking and fraud associated with decentralized finance (DeFi).

However, the polynetwork theft was $ 600 million, well above the $ 474 million criminal loss that CipherTrace said was registered across the DeFi sector from January to July. Theft represents a risk in a less regulated sector and can draw the attention of regulators.

The DeFi platform allows you to trade in cryptocurrencies, usually without the use of traditional gatekeepers such as banks and exchanges. The sector grew rapidly last year and the platform is currently processing over $ 80 billion in digital coins.

DeFi proponents say technology will reduce costs and boost economic activity, providing people and businesses with free access to financial services. However, technical flaws and weaknesses in computer code can make you vulnerable to hacking.

(Reported by Alun John in Hong Kong, Tom Wilson in London, Tom Westbrook in Singapore, edited by Michelle Price and Cynthia Osterman)

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Hackers steal $ 613 million in digital coins and then return $ 260 million to cryptocurrency platforms

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