Biggest Crypto Heist: Hackers stole more than $600M From Poly Network

Hackers looted cryptocurrencies worth more than $600 million from Poly Network – a  decentralized finance platform- in one of the biggest crypto heist of history. Xiamen Slowmist Technology, a blockchain security firm from China, said that cybercriminals took advantage of a weak spot in Poly Network’s code, in which hackers can transfer cryptocurrency to one another without being exposed.

Poly Network specializes in cryptocurrency peer-to-peer transactions, it allows users to swap tokens across multiple blockchains, such as; Binance, Ethereum, and Polygon. The  Network revealed the incident on Twitter on August 10.

How much money was stolen in the biggest crypto heist of history?

In total, hackers looted a minimum of $600 million, in funds, was stolen in the biggest crypto heist. The amount includes:

$273 million on Ethereum

$253 million on BSC.

$85 million on Polygon

Blockchain security firm, Slow Mist, claimed to have unearthed their email account, IP address, and device fingerprint. This would be enough for law enforcement to locate the individual(s) if it’s accurate information.

Read more: Cryptocurrencies struggle to secure footing in the market

Poly Network pleads to freeze the wallet

Poly Network asked the exchanges and miners to freeze the attacker’s addresses and restrict them from shifting the stolen funds. Tether was one of the first to respond to the call, freezing $33 million worth of USDT on Ethereum. Poly Network also threatens that it would take legal action to recover the looted funds.

Update: The biggest crypto heist hacker returns the stolen funds

Poly Network begged the hackers to return the stolen funds. In a tweet it says; “The amount of money you hacked is the biggest one in the Defi history. The money you stole is from tens of thousands of crypto community members, hence the people.”

In a recent turn of events, the hackers began returning some of the funds from the looted amount of $600 million, after Poly Network’s plea. The crypto hackers sent a message embedded in a cryptocurrency transaction saying they were ready to return the funds.

To which, the DeFi network created several addresses and asked the hackers to transfer the funds. By noon, about $261 million, had been returned, according to Reuters. The blockchain forensics firm, Chainalysis, said they are returning the looted funds because the hack had gained the world’s attention, there is virtually no way for the hacker to safely withdraw the funds, as every transaction is recorded and traceable.

The hacker publishes a three-page long Q&A session in which he claimed; “I take the responsibility to expose the vulnerability before any insiders hiding and exploiting it!” “I understood the risk of exposing myself even if I don’t do evil. So I used temporary email, IP, and fingerprint, which were untraceable. I prefer to stay in the dark and save the world.”

DeFi crimes hit a record high

DeFi platforms allow parties to conduct transactions, usually in cryptocurrencies, directly without conventional porters such as banks or exchanges. The sector has gained new heights, with platforms now dealing with more than $80 billion worth of digital coins.

The DeFi division has registered criminal losses of a record $474 million from January to July. The majority of DeFi crimes in 2021 appear to have been executed by hackers, making up $361 million, or 76%, of all DeFi-related crimes.


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