On Thursday evening, Polynetwork was hacked by a group of hackers that literally stole a hefty amount of $600 million. But now, the hackers have decided to return back this amount. Polynetwork said that the person had exploited a vulnerability in its system.
This attack is one of the largest hacking heists in history. The hackers said that they aren’t interested in the reward whereas most of the amount has been recovered by Polynetwork, stolen during the heist.
Poly Network said most of the remaining assets in the hacker’s possession had been transferred to a digital wallet controlled by both the hacker and the company.
Poly Network says it is still waiting for the repayment process to be fully completed but that it is working with the hacker. A portion of the stolen coins was frozen shortly after the attack have not yet been transferred but can’t be used by the hacker anyway.
Other money outstanding also includes a 13.37 Ether tip ($40,000), which the hacker sent to a user who warned them that the Tether tokens had been frozen by its developer.
Shortly after the hack, the anonymous individual posted notes to the publicly available blockchain taunting the company and asking for advice on how to launder his stolen riches. Later, the criminal claimed “not to be interested in money” and promised to return it all.
“The hacker still holds $33.4m of stolen Tether [tokens] – because it has been frozen by Tether themselves,”Tom Robinson, Co-Founder, Elliptic (London-based blockchain analytics and compliance firm)
Well, the hackers didn’t want money, they aren’t interested in rewards either, then what are they up to? According to BBC, In a three-page report, Q&A posted online the anonymous hacker claimed he or she carried out the heist for fun and to encourage cryptocurrency exchange firm Poly Networks to improve its security.
Polynetwork has accepted hackers’ explanations and named them “Mr. White Hat”. White hat hackers are ethical security researchers who use their skills for good to help organizations find security flaws.
Poly Network confirmed that it sent a note to the attack saying,
We believe that your action is white hat behaviour, we plan to offer you a $500,000 reward. We assure you that you will not be accountable for this incident.
Since hackers aren’t interested in the reward whereas some officials aren’t also interested in their immunity agreement. The alleged move has angered some in the security world who are worried that it might set a precedent for criminal hackers to white-wash their actions.
Source: BBC News
One former FBI official about the immunity, said: “private companies have no authority to promise immunity from criminal prosecution”.
Katie Paxton-Fear, a white hat hacker and lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University has found over 30 vulnerabilities in organisations ranging from the US Department of Defense (DoD) to Verizon Media says that “labelling this hack as white hat is just really disappointing”.
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