PolyNetwork gains back all of the cryptocurrencies that hackers stole: Joint effort from competing crypto-wallet services and brokers ensured reversal?

PolyNetwork Stolen Cryptocurrencies Returned
Mr. White Hat returns all of the stolen cryptocurrencies. Pic credit: Crypto360/Flickr

The largest-ever cryptocurrency theft has been fully reversed. PolyNetwork, the platform that lost an estimated $611 Million worth of Binance Smart Chain (BSC), Ethereum, and USD Coin tokens, has confirmed that it received all of the stolen digital currency.

Cryptocurrency platform, Poly Network, announced that it had received back all the cryptocurrency tokens that hackers had successfully transferred to their own crypto-wallets. Several security experts are lauding the joint efforts of competing cryptocurrency service providers.

The biggest-ever cryptocurrency theft sees sudden reversal:

PolyNetwork is a popular cryptocurrency platform that multiple blockchain providers, namely, Neo, Ontology, and Switcheo created. The intention behind the multi-platform collaboration was to facilitate the easy exchange of crypto tokens across different crypto platforms, including Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Earlier this month, PolyNetwork confirmed it was a victim of cybercrime of gargantuan proportions. Cybercriminals had successfully compromised the platform’s defenses, infiltrated the cryptocurrency holding vault, and transferred a large number of cryptocurrency tokens to their own crypto-wallets.

Shortly after confirming the theft, PolyNetwork wrote an open letter to the cyber thieves, pleading with them to returns the “funds of the crypto community members”.

It appears the hacker, codenamed Mr. White Hat had been in contact with PolyNetwork. He or she was reportedly trying to negotiate the surrender of stolen digital tokens.

After a brief exchange over social media and cryptocurrency exchanging platforms, Mr. White Hat began returning the stolen funds. This week, PolyNetwork confirmed it had received the final installment of the stolen cryptocurrencies:

“At this point, all the user assets that were transferred out during the incident have been fully recovered. We are in the process of returning full asset control to users as swiftly as possible.”

Why did Mr. White Hat return $611 Million worth of cryptocurrency tokens?

It is important to note that the thief successfully exploited a vulnerability in PolyNetwork’s code. He was able to transfer the stolen funds to his own accounts.

Simply put, Mr. White Hat had access to the majority of stolen cryptocurrency assets. Only about $200 Million worth of digital tokens from the estimated $611 Million stolen, lay trapped in an account that required passwords from both Poly Network and the hacker.

Overall, PolyNetwork received 28,953 Ethereum and 1,032 Wrapped Bitcoin amounting to $141 Million this week. With all the funds back, PolyNetwork has indicated that will focus on restoring the platform to full functionality.

As for the security loophole that Mr. White Hat exploited, PolyNetowrk has fixed it permanently. The network has even reportedly awarded $500,000 as “Bounty” to Mr. White Hat for discovering the security flaw.

Although the platform is now secure, it is not clear how many current members, as well as potential subscribers, will trust PolyNetwork with their assets.

The entire episode and the amount of money involved were quite a big shock to the cryptocurrency community. However, the theft quickly brought competing platforms together.

The majority of platforms dealing with cryptocurrencies confirmed they would not accept the stolen funds, and vowed to blacklist the digital tokens and wallets. Some industry experts claim such unity and solidarity might have played a big role in ensuring the digital assets found their way back home.

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