Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hackers return portion of record crypto heist haul



Hackers return portion of record crypto heist haul

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A small portion of a record cryptocurrency heist has been returned by hackers, and security experts are on the hunt for the rest. AFP

Hackers return portion of record crypto heist haul

A firm specialising in transferring cryptocurrency said that hackers have given back $260 million worth of digital loot from a record haul.

Poly Network fired off a tweet on August 11 saying hackers had returned $260 million worth of the digital assets taken in a heist a day earlier valued at $613 million.

Polygon had urged the thieves to return the stolen fortune and provided online addresses for transfers.

Digital asset research firm The Block said in a post at its website: “Seven minutes prior to sending the first transaction returning some of the funds, the hacker created a token called ‘The hacker is ready to surrender’ and sent this token to the designated Polygon address.”

One of the touted features of cryptocurrency is that blockchain transactions are public, even if the people behind them are not.

Poly Network had put out a plea for the stolen Ethereum, BinanceChain and OxPolygon tokens to be shunned by traders running “wallets” for storing cryptocurrency.

“The amount of money you hacked is the biggest one in the defi history,” Poly Network said in a tweeted message to the thieves, using a reference to decentralised finance (defi) involving cryptocurrency. “The money you stole are from tens of thousands of crypto community members.”

The return of some of the digital loot came as the thieves were tracked by “white hat hackers” who use their software skills for good.

The heist also sparked debate about whether it would be fair to let the hackers keep some of the loot as reward for uncovering a Poly Network weakness that could have been even more costly.

Open source developers alliance BinomialPool in a tweeted exchange proposed a bounty of five-to-10 per cent for pulling off such crypto-hacks.

“This could be a win-win,” tweeted @BinomialPool. “Hackers don’t go into jail. The community faces acceptable losses. Code gets better.”

Paying hackers bounties for uncovering and reporting bugs in software is common practice in the tech world.

Blockchain system defence firm SlowMist put out word it is on the trail of the cyber crooks who pulled the Poly Network heist.

“The SlowMist security team has grasped the attacker’s mailbox, IP, and device fingerprints through on-chain and off-chain tracking, and is tracking possible identity clues related to the Poly Network attacker,” the company said in a blog post.

Poly Network threatened police involvement, but also offered the hackers the chance to “work out a solution”.

The US Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) did not respond to requests for comment.

Poly Network posted online addresses used by the hackers, and called on “miners of affected blockchain and crypto exchanges to blacklist tokens” coming from them.

Poly Network did not reply to an AFP request for comment, but Twitter users echoed calculations valuing the hackers’ haul at some $600 million.

As of the end of April, cryptocurrency thefts, hacks and fraud so far this year totalled $432 million, according to an analysis by CipherTrace.

That compares to 2019, when defi hacks were virtually non-existent, according to CipherTrace.

MOST VIEWED

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro

  • ACLEDA, WU to enable global money transfers

    Cambodia's largest commercial bank by total assets ACLEDA Bank Plc and global money transfer firm Western Union (WU) have partnered to offer customers cross-border money transfers to 200 countries via “ACLEDA mobile” app. In Channy, president and group managing director of ACLEDA, said the June 22 agreement

  • Walmart plans to diversify stock of Cambodia goods

    Walmart Inc, the world’s biggest retailer, on June 22 reiterated recent plans to scale up and greatly diversify its purchases of Cambodian products, according to the labour ministry. This came during a virtual working meeting between Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Samheng and

  • Cambodia detects new Covid cases after 52 days: PM

    After 52 days of zero new Covid-19 cases, Cambodia has now detected new infections, according to Prime Minister Hun Sen. In his special audio address to the nation late on June 28, Hun Sen said the new cases were detected on people who had undergone PCR tests

  • Cotton club growing in Battambang

    The global market for “vegan leather” – materials that act as alternatives to traditional leather that can be synthesised from cork, apple peels, cactus, recycled plastic, grape pomace and pineapple leaves, among other things, and supposedly require no chemicals or water to produce – is expected to