Hackers Stole $611M, Biggest Crypto Heist In DeFi History

This is probably the biggest attack on decentralized finance or DeFi in its history. Unknown hackers used vulnerabilities in the Poly Network, the cross-chain protocol, to remove at least $600 million from the three chains.

According to an update on Twitter on Tuesday, Poly Network reported that these attacks have removed assets from three major chains that are Binance Chain, Ethereum, as well as Polygon Network. The blockchain data of all these networks were useful in knowing the amount stolen from each of them. These hackers stole about US$273 million from Ethereum, $85 million in USD Coin (USDC) from the Polygon network, and $253 million from the Binance Smart Chain. In this matter, Polygon also stated that renBTC, wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC), and wrapped Ether (WETH), all of them were involved in this exploit, which used “a vulnerability between contract calls”.

SlowMist, the Chinese cybersecurity firm, issued an update shortly after the attack was exposed. The update said that its analysts identified the attacker’s email address, IP address, and fingerprint, but did not disclose the information. Hoo Exchange and other companies gave their data to determine that the hacker’s source of funds was in Monero (XMR), said the firm. Monero was later changed to Binance Coin (BNB), Ether (ETH), and MATIC. SlowMist said, “Combined with the flow of funds and multiple fingerprint information, it can be found that this is likely to be a long-planned, organized, and prepared attack.”

What Else From These Hackers?

Yet another weird thing to notice was that the hacker posted three bizarre messages as well. This was done through transaction records on Ethereum. According to Etherscan, after apparently failing to transfer some tokens, they are considering retrieving some of the stolen funds. It seems that they sought help from the community to clean up digital assets through the Tornado service. Then they asked the DAO to decide where the tokens should go.

“It would have been a billion hack if I had moved the remaining shitcoins! Did I just save the project? Not so interested in money, now considering returning some tokens or just leaving them there.”

Numbers from DeFi and the crypto space also suggested help and assistance. Jay Hao, OKEx’s CEO stated that the exchange team was “watching the flow of coins”. Also, it will try to deal with this situation. Paolo Ardoino, Tether’s CTO, stated that the project has frozen about 33 million U.S. dollars of Tether (USDT) from one of the affected addresses.

On the other hand, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao stated something else. He said that the cryptocurrency exchange is coordinating with security partners to “proactively assist” after hacking. Poly Network is a collaborative project from Ontology, Neo, and Switcheo that was launched last year. This project aimed to bring a “heterogeneous interoperability protocol alliance”. This integrates the blockchains into a larger cross-chain ecosystem. This agreement enables users to swap tokens across different blockchains.

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