Hackers steal $610-million from the DeFi sector and are now returning it

August 12, 2021

They are also asking for donations as a sign of appreciation for their “good intentions”.

Hackers recently targeted a firm in the ever-growing decentralized finance sector (DeFi). In what is being called the largest cryptocurrency heist in history, hackers stole about $610-million from the DeFi protol known as PolyNetwork. It is not entirely clear who owns the PolyNetwork protocol, but they definitely have a large amount of wealth in crypto.

In a bizarre twist to this tale, the hackers have started returning the money to the firm. In a message the unidentified hackers said that they “just dumped all the assets,” adding, “hacking for good, I did save the project.”

About $260 million has been returned so far, according to Tom Robinson, co-founder of blockchain forensics firm Elliptic.

To add insult to injury, the hackers have openly asked for donations in return for their good intentions of returning the money they stole. It is understood that they will return the rest of the money in increments as well.

The hackers also posted a Q&A online, explaining motivations for the attack as “for fun:).” The pirates said they took the funds “to keep it safe” after spotting a bug in the computer code. They also encouraged agencies to not even try to find them, because they are impossible to trace. “I prefer to stay in the dark and save the world.”

Blockchain security researcher SlowMist, has said that it did, in fact, find the hackers’ IP addresses, emails and digital fingerprints. This is, however, not yet confirmed.

PolyNetwork said in a letter posted Tuesday on Twitter that thousands of people have been affected by the heist.

“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,” Robinson said. “In this case the hacker concluded that the safest option was just to return the stolen assets.”