Poly Network hack: over $600m of stolen crypto returned

A professor at University Canada West had predicted that all funds would be returned

A unidentifiable hacker using a compuer                                 
A hacker using laptop – Photo: Shutterstock

Poly Network has revealed that more than $600m (£433m) of stolen funds from a hack that occurred earlier this month has been returned to the company.

Thus proving an opinion made by Dr Pooja Lekhi, a professor at University Canada West, on 12 August to be correct, that all hacked funds would be returned.

This puts an end to what was been dubbed the biggest hack ever in the decentralised finance (DeFi) space.

Poly Network told Currency.com that the company “has successfully retrieved the remaining 28,953 etherum (ETH) and 1,032 WBTC (about $141 million)”.

The hacker, known only as Mr White Hat, returned the stolen funds part by part to Poly Network. The term White Hat refers to ethical hackers, who aim to expose the cyber-vulnerability of the institution in question.

Following a tweet put out by Poly Network after the hack, which urged the hacker to talk to the company to work out a solution, Mr White Hat made contact and started to return the funds in parts.

Poly Network said: “At this point, all the user assets that were transferred out during the incident have been fully recovered. Thanks to Mr. White Hat’s cooperation, Poly Network has officially entered the fourth phase of our roadmap ‘Asset Recovery’. We are in the process of returning full asset control to users as swiftly as possible.”

Bug Bounty also returned

Poly Network explained to Currency.com that Mr White Hat had also responded to a $500,000 (£362,270) bug bounty offer. The hacker returned the Bug Bounty, along with the final part of the hacked funds.

A bug bounty programme is a deal offered by many websites, organisations and software developers by which individuals can receive recognition and compensation for reporting bugs, especially those pertaining to security exploits and vulnerabilities.

Poly Network said: “As of now, the company has regained control of the $610m (£444m).”

Before Poly Network received the final part of the hacked funds, it had offered Mr White Hat a job as Chief Security Advisor via a tweet. It said: “#PolyNetwork has no intention of holding #mrwhitehat legally responsible and cordially invites him to be our Chief Security Advisor. $500,000 bounty is on the way. Whatever #mrwhitehat chooses to do with the bounty in the end, we have no objections.”

Mr White Hat has not yet accepted the job offer.

$33m of tether frozen

In order to prevent any tether (USDT) being stolen as part of this hack, $33m of the digital assets were frozen on Poly Network, according to Tether chief technology officer Paolo Ardoino.

Poly Network said: “We have been in close communication with Tether and have followed up in accordance with Tether’s standard process. Tether is in the process of confirming the final unfreezing process with us.”

Further reading: How safe is my crypto stash?

Further reading: Bitcoin price analysis (7-13 June): get ready for a sharp move this week

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