Poly Network: The world's largest cryptocurrency hack results in the theft of $827 million.
Hackers have committed the world's largest cryptocurrency theft – but, in a rare gesture, they have refunded more than a third of the funds.
Hackers stole about $US6010 million ($A827 million) in various cryptocurrencies, committing what is arguably the greatest crime in the industry's history.
The hackers targeted Poly Network, a decentralized finance (DeFi) platform that lets users to exchange cryptocurrency tokens across several blockchains, the technology that supports digital currencies.
The theft impacts tens of thousands of users, Poly Network stated in a letter addressed to the unknown hackers that was released on Twitter.
The letter continues, "The amount of money you hacked is the largest in DeFi history." “Any country's law enforcement will view this as a serious economic crime, and you will be pursued.”
However, in an odd turn of events, Poly Network reported that the hackers appear to have returned some of the stolen monies.
According to a tweet from Poly Network, it revealed that $US260 million ($A353 million) had been recovered.
According to a person claiming to be the hacker, they did it "for fun" and to reveal weaknesses, and intended to repay all funds.
Following the first theft, the hackers allegedly transmitted their cryptocurrency harvest to a variety of different digital wallet addresses in an attempt to evade detection.
SlowMist researchers stated that they had "captured the attacker's mailbox, IP address, and device fingerprints... and are following probable identifying clues associated with the Poly Network attacker."
Tether's chief technology officer announced on Twitter that the business had frozen $US33 million ($A45 million) worth of the stablecoin it believes is tied to the breach.
And Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange, stated that he was aware of the attempt and that his organization is "coordinating with all our security partners to provide proactive assistance."
“No guarantees,” he stated.
Decentralised Finance, or DeFi, has grown in popularity over the last few years as cryptocurrencies have gained traction.
The phrase refers to peer-to-peer cryptocurrency platforms that facilitate transactions without the intervention of traditional financial intermediaries like as banks or stock exchanges.
This weak monitoring is a significant part of the industry's attractiveness to people fearful of institutional surveillance, but it also emboldens cyber thieves to target the field more aggressively.
Crypto thefts totaled $US361 million ($A489 million) in the first half of 2021, an almost threefold rise over the same period in 2020, according to statistics from bitcoin compliance provider CipherTrace.