Update: Poly Network hacker returns $260M of the stolen funds, defines the network as “decent” and “sophisticated.”

  • Poly Network famed hacker has returned, in small amounts, $260M of the over $600M assets siphoned earlier this week.
  • The Hacker claims to be a “white hat”, saying all assets will be returned slowly as negotiations ensue with the Poly Team.

Following the DeFi attack earlier this week, the Poly Network hacker has been returning assets drained in small bits. The hacker began by returning about $4.7 million or 1 percent of the total approximately $611 million stolen. Thereafter, the hacker continued on a similar trend, as the DeFi platform highlighted some of the token addresses that saw returns. As of Aug. 11, 4:18 p.m. UTC, the hacker had returned a little over $260 million, according to the Poly Network.

Since then, the hacker has been maintaining communications with the Poly Network team as requested on Twitter. The hacker has also been communicating with an unknown white hat hacker.

Poly Network hacker speaks

In a Q&A posted on Twitter, the hacker starts by saying the attack was merely “for fun” and that “cross-chain hacking is hot.” The person reiterates having “saved the project” and that it was necessary because no one could be trusted to help. The hacker goes into details about how [the hacker]discovered a weakness in the system and exploited it.

Additionally, the person did not touch small altcoins so that their value wouldn’t plummet. The hacker, however, angrily deposited stablecoins since the Poly team didn’t give him a chance to explain himself. So-called “fake DeFi coins”, the hacker intends that they earn interest while negotiations with the Poly team go on.

Surprisingly, the hacker complemented the Poly Network calling it a “decent” and “sophisticated system.” The hacker also claims all assets will be returned in small bits in due time as negotiations continue. In the end, the hacker asked to be allowed to give the Poly team “tips on how to secure their networks.”

Further developments on the hack

Chainalysis blockchain intelligence firm, which has been at the frontline in analyzing the attacker’s moves noted:

This may be a ruse to make off with the stolen USDT but so far nothing suggests the attacker won’t continue to return the stolen assets.”

Poly Network saw the loss of 12 cryptocurrencies including ETH, WETH, WBTC, and USDT in millions. Security company Slowmist, shows the hacker left some fingerprints on the relatively unknown exchange Hoo.com. The firm was also able to identify the hacker’s mailbox and IP address, but no individual(s) have been named yet.

Notably, some crypto experts have expressed skepticism about the hacker’s intentions. Gurvais Grigg, Chainalysis CEO and former FBI veteran said it was unlikely ethical hackers would steal such a large sum. They probably returned some of the amount stolen because it proved unmanageable to convert them all to fiat.

It’s hard to know the motivation … Let’s see if they return the whole amount,

Nevertheless, Poly Network may have to trust the hacker’s named intentions with the hope that all the fracas will soon end. The unfortunate happening, however, draws attention to nascent cross-chain-networks’ security especially as it is now regarded as the biggest DeFi attack in history.

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