Recently, one of the largest cryptocurrency heists to date was carried out, netting roughly $611 million in Shiba Inu, Ethereum, and other digital currencies. Now, less than a day later, the person responsible wants to give the money back.
The intruder stole the funds on August 10 from the decentralized Poly Network finance platform through a vulnerability exploit. Not long after, however, several security researchers reportedly found identifying information, including the perpetrator’s IP address and email address, along with the Chinese crypto exchange (Hoo) the hacker used.
— Poly Network (@PolyNetwork2) August 10, 2021
Poly Network shared the message above, urging the thief to return the stolen assets. The perpetrator sent a token stating they were “ready to surrender” and that they have already started returning the funds. The exact reason why the perpetrator wants to return the funds is still unknown, but it’s likely in hopes of avoiding criminal charges.
Soon after they sent that token, the intruder returned $1 million in USDC on the Polygon blockchain across three transactions, along with 23.8 BTCB ($1.1 million); 259.7 billion shiba inu ($2 million); and $600,000 in FEI. A few hours later, they returned most of the assets on Binance Smart Chain; $119 million in BUSD stablecoin; 1,000 more BTCB ($46.4 million); and 26,629 ETH ($86 million). Only 6,613 BNB ($2.6 million) is yet to be returned.
The hack may have been one of the largest in DeFi (decentralized finance) history, but it was not the first hack of the year. As of July 2021, approximately $361 million has been stolen in similar hacks. This event is just one of many that are contributing to the erosion of confidence users may have in crypto exchanges.
However, the nature of cryptocurrency revolves around the fact that it uses a decentralized ledger, which can potentially leave a trail of whose hands the currency has been in. Between that and the fast turnaround on this heist, it may be enough to discourage future hacks.