Poly Network hacker returns $600 million loot, conducts AMA
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Poly Network hacker returns $600 million loot, conducts AMA

Saudu Clement
Saudu Clement

The hacker involved in the $600 million Poly Network heist has finally returned all of his loot, bring a close to one of DeFi’s most prominent attacks.

After carting away with over $600 million worth of digital assets on Tuesday, the attacker has disclosed his intention to return the funds less than 24 hours later. The stolen funds consisted of $272 million worth of cryptocurrencies on Ethereum, $252 million on Binance Smart Chain, and $85 million on Polygon.

By Wednesday, the hacker, who has been dubbed “Mr. White Hat” by Poly Network, had returned more than half of the funds. And by Thursday, the team confirmed that it had received the remaining funds, excluding $33 million worth of USDT that was frozen by Tether following the heist.

Meanwhile, the hacker told the crypto community that the attack was carried out “for fun” in a “Q&A” session posted within Ethereum transactions.

As reported by BTC PEERS, there were rumors that the hacker’s decision to return the funds was because his identity may have been compromised. However, the hacker dismisses this claim in the Q&A discussion, noting that he used a “temporary email, IP, or so-called fingerprint, which was untraceable.”

He goes on to explain that his reason for returning the funds “demonstrates that even if you can steal crypto-assets, laundering them and cashing out is extremely difficult due to the transparency of the blockchain.”

When spotting the bug, I had a mixed feeling. Ask yourself what to do had you facing so much fortune. Asking the project team politely so that they can fix it? Anyone could be the traitor given one billion. I can trust nobody! The only solution I can come up with is saving it in a trusted account.

When asked why he had been selling and swapping some of the stolen stablecoins, he suggested that it was a reaction to how the Poly Team responded to the incident initially.

The Poly Network team initially took to Twitter to liaise with the attacker on Wednesday in an open letter asking for the return of the loot and also making little threats about law enforcement.

The Poly Network team thanked the hacker for exposing the critical bug on its platform in an onchain message. They also offered a $500,000 bug bounty, assuring the hacker no legal action would be taken. Interestingly, the hacker has declined the offer.