Hacker returns funds after a $600M DeFi exploit

Hacker returns funds after a $600M DeFi exploit

DeFi doesn’t stop surprising us.

Yesterday a cross-chain protocol PolyNetwork was hacked and over $600 M were stolen from the three blockchains PolyNetwork was bridging: Ethereum, Polygon and BSC. This is the biggest DeFi hack so far, and while we’re still waiting for a postmortem analysis, experts suspect that a hacker either obtained private keys used to sign cross-chain messages or exploited a weak smart contract.

The crypto community mobilized to track and block the stolen funds: Tether froze the $33M associated with the attack and the executives of leading exchanges also engaged to help limit the damage.

And then… the hacker decided to return the funds, saying “It’s already a legend to win so much fortune. It will be an eternal legend to save the world.” At the time of writing ~$5M were sent back, comforting PolyNetwork in the idea that the hacker was finally a white hat.

In the meantime, DeFi has learned yet another thing on protocol security.