All $610 Million Stolen in Historic Crypto Heist Has Been Returned, Poly Network Says


It looks like the hacker behind Poly Network’s historic heist has had a change of heart. The crypto platform confirmed in a company blog post on Monday that the anonymous hacker (or hackers) who successfully stole roughly $610 million in crypto assets from its platform had finally surrendered the final tranche of their ill-gotten gains.

“At this point, all the user assets that were transferred out during the incident have been fully recovered,” the company wrote, adding that it had “successfully retrieved” the last roughly $141 million in tokens earlier today. Poly also thanked “Mr. White Hat”—the name it dubbed the hacker—for cooperating with the company thus far. Earlier this month, the anonymous exploiter wrote in a public ‘Ask Me Anything’ session held by the company that they’d always intended to return the millions of dollars in assets, and that they’d hoped that Poly “[learned] something from those attacks.”

When asked why they’d carried off the heist in the first place, they simply responded “for fun,” with a lil smiley face, as one does.

Things have arguably been less fun for Poly, which promised the hacker a $50,000 reward—not to mention a literal job at the company—in return for a $200 million chunk of the assets earlier this month. This was on top of the previous $500,000 offer that the hacker had already turned down, insisting that it would be better off donated “to the technical community who have made contributions to blockchain security.”

The company said in its blog post that it has “officially started the process” of returning most of the funds to users that were affected—not including the roughly $33 million in Tether currently frozen that the crypto-provider froze shortly after being caught up in the hack. Poly assured users that Tether “is in the process of confirming the final unfreezing process with us.” After that, all of the purloined assets will make their way back into circulation, Poly’s users will go back to trading, and the entire saga will officially come to a close. And when it does, hopefully, everyone involved will take their security just a bit more seriously.

Poly Network confirmed to CNBC that they wouldn’t be holding Mr. White Hat legally responsible, even though they carried out what’s arguable the biggest crypto caper of all time. The $610 million in stolen assets surpassed two of the other major cases we’ve seen recently, including the roughly $535 million stolen from Coincheck, a Japanese crypto exchange, and the $450 million stolen from Mt. Gox before it filed for bankruptcy in 2014.

Unlike each of those cases, though, Poly was lucky enough to be hit by a hacker who was less interested in turning a profit, and more interested in, well, having fun. 🙂