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Hacker Steals $600 Million In Cryptocurrency, Gets Scared, Returns Over Half

Hacker Steals $600 Million In Cryptocurrency, Gets Scared, Returns Over Half

They flew too close to the sun

Ewan Moore

Ewan Moore

In what might just be one of the strangest heist stories of all time, a hacker has returned over half of the $610 million in cryptocurrency they successfully stole.

As reported by PC Gamer, the hacker pulled off the digital heist on August 10 by exploiting a vulnerability in Poly Network, a platform that allows transactions between different blockchains. But while the heist itself was a success, the culprits were spooked after details of the transactions were released to the public.

Poly Network explained that the hacker managed to find a way to divert millions of dollars of various cryptocurrencies to three different digital wallets by manipulating transactions, in what it's calling the biggest DeFi heist ever.

"We want to establish communication with you and urge you to return the hacked assets," Poly Network wrote in an open letter to the hacker. "the amount of money you hacked is the biggest one in DeFi history. Law enforcement in any country will regard this as a major economic crime and you will be pursued. It is very unwise for you to do any further transactions. The money you stole is from tens of thousands of crypto community members. You should talk to us to work out a solution."

With the illegal transactions flagged, the hacker was essentially left with $600 million they couldn't use without alerting everybody. Poly Network has since taken to Twitter to confirm it's now working the alleged hacker, who goes my the name Mr. White Hat. They have apparently been returning the stolen money in chunks.

"I think this demonstrates that even if you can steal crypto-assets, laundering them and cashing out is extremely difficult, due to the transparency of the blockchain and the use of blockchain analytics," Tom Robinson, chief scientist of blockchain analytics firm Elliptic told CNBC.

At the time of writing, $342 million has been returned. Only $268 million left to go.

Featured Image Credit: Netflix

Topics: GAMING, News