Hackers steal $600 million in Poly Network hack

Andrew Brookes | Culture | Getty Images

More than $ 600 million was stolen in what is probably the biggest cryptocurrency theft of all time.

Hackers have exploited a vulnerability in the Poly Network, a platform that wants to connect different blockchains so that they can work together.

Poly Network announced the attack on Twitter and requested communication with the hackers, asking them to “return the hacked assets”.

A blockchain is a directory of activities on which various cryptocurrencies are based. Each digital coin has its own blockchain and they are different from each other. Poly Network claims to be able to make these different blockchains work together.

Poly Network is a decentralized financial platform. DeFi is a broad term that encompasses financial applications based on blockchain technology that aim to exclude intermediaries – such as brokers and exchanges. Hence it is called decentralized.

Proponents say this can make financial applications like lending or borrowing more efficient and cheaper.

“The amount of money you hacked is the largest in Defi history,” Poly Network said in another tweet.

After the hackers stole the money, they started sending it to various other cryptocurrency addresses. Researchers at security firm SlowMist said that total cryptocurrencies worth more than $ 610 million have been sent to three different addresses.

Poly Network urged cryptocurrency exchanges to “blacklist” tokens obtained from the addresses associated with the hackers.

About $ 33 million in tether that was part of the theft has been frozen, according to the stablecoin’s issuer.

Meanwhile, Changpeng Zhao, CEO of the major cryptocurrency exchange Binance, said he was aware of the attack.

He said Binance is coordinating with all of our security partners to proactively help, but there are no guarantees.

“We will take legal action and ask the hackers to return the assets,” Poly Network said on Twitter.

SlowMist said in a tweet that its researchers have “captured the attacker’s mailbox, IP, and device fingerprints” and “are tracking possible identity clues related to the Poly Network attacker”.

The researchers concluded that the theft was “likely a long-planned, organized and prepared attack”.

DeFi has become a major target for attacks.

From the beginning of the year through July, DeFi-related hacks totaled $ 361 million – an increase nearly three times over all of 2020, according to cryptocurrency compliance firm CipherTrace.

DeFi-related fraud is also increasing. In the first seven months of the year, they accounted for 54% of total crypto fraud volume, up from 3% for all of last year.

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