In a recent hack on a protocol known as the Poly Network, over $600 million worth of cryptocurrency is estimated to have been stolen, but that isn’t the news at the moment. According to Chainalysis and CNBC, whoever stole those cryptos in what Bloomberg has tipped to be one of the largest hacks in decentralized finance, is in the process of returning them.
The Poly Network, as it were, is a protocol that allows users to transfer cryptocurrencies between blockchains. And due to its role as the connecting bridge, stolen assets usually come in different types of tokens and in their hundreds — ranging from Ethereum to Binance to Dogecoin.
In a recent tweet from the official Twitter page of the Poly Network, they cited the huge amount of money stolen by the hacker as they went on to tell whoever was behind the hacking how such a person would be in serious trouble with law enforcement agencies for stealing from “the people”.
Now it seems as though the tweet post by Poly Network may have worked. Moments after, the hacker has responded in a string of coded messages, The hacker said they were absolutely ready to return all the stolen funds, but would be needing some kind of re-entry back into Poly Network. Poly Network has since provided them with addresses to send the crypto to, and the coins have already started to flow.
As of 10 AM ET Today, about $5 million have already been returned, but it looks like the attacker intends to get rid of the lower-value cryptos first. They embedded a message saying they were “DUMPING SHITCOINS FIRST.”
Multiple theories have been flying around about how the attack happened. While Poly Network still maintains that the attackers latched on an interaction between two contracts, we most likely will never know exactly what happened until a thorough investigation is completed. And when that investigation is completed, we still might not know how much the hacker actually got away with.
As of yesterday, the attackers suggested in one of their messages that they are “not so interested in money, now considering returning some tokens or just leaving them here.” They also wrote about how returning the money will make them an eternal legend. But now, ever since they started returning the funds, they have posted another message asking for donations from those who support their decision to return the funds. This directly calls into question, their earlier statement of not being so interested in money. They obviously don’t really wish to return the stolen funds, they are simply doing so out of fear of not being able to use them or that eventually, the long arms of the law will catch up to them.