[Update: 23-Aug-2021]The hacker(s) has finally returned all the funds that were stolen from the Poly Network hack. However seems that the hacker’s IP, email and device fingerprints have been discovered by some blockchain security firm. Shows that no matter what governments claim, for such a public and transparent network, it is hard for criminals doing illegal activities to easily get away.
I am guessing most people who are remotely interested in crypto would have heard of the recent hack at the Poly Network. Again this is the Poly Network, not the Polygon Network. These are two different entities. Poly Network is supposed to be some sort of decentralized platform for users to exchange tokens between different blockchains. So it is like a decentralized exchange but deals mainly with tokens of different blockchains – swap BNB for ETH and so on. Anyway the Poly Network got hacked and the cryptocurrencies there was stolen. Apparently this was because there was(is) some sort of flaw with their smart contracts. And they make off with like 600 over million USD worth of cryptocurrencies. This is the largest crypto based hack in history. And 600 million USD is a lot of money. Those investors who had placed their cryptocurrencies in Poly Network must be real worried. I know I would if I had my cryptocurrencies stashed there.
Anyway it seems that the hacker(s) had finally returned most of the cryptocurrencies to the platform. The hacker(s) claimed that he or she or they had done this hack to teach Poly Network a lesson about security. And only meant it for “fun”. Apparently the hacker had spotted the bug and wanted to report to the developers but thought that it was better just to get everyone’s attention by stealing millions away. The hacker(s) also claimed that they have no intention of keeping the crypto and it will always meant to be returned. Well for me, I honestly don’t think that this is the case. Most likely it is because the hacker(s) found out that it is very difficult to offload the stolen cryptocurrencies as these blockchains are public. There are blockchain firms out there that can trace every single transaction easily as the public blockchain contains all the transaction history. You don’t even need some specialists to do it for you. If you have the time and the patience, a blockchain explorer is all you need. And worst of all, the hacker(s) has stolen such a huge amount of cryptocurrencies that it is now impossible to hide. Governments and authorities are very likely watching every single move the hacker makes. And from what is written in the news, it seems that the hacker(s) has dumped the cryptocurrencies in a unknown Chinese cryptocurrency exchange and was unable to change for fiat currencies. They even tried using Tornado cash to swap as well. So if it was as the hacker has claimed for “fun” and to teach Poly Network a lesson, then why was the stolen cryptocurrencies being dumped into an exchange and even ask for assistance on how to launder off for fiat currencies? Doesn’t make sense at all.
Seems to me that the hacker(s) bit off more than they can chew. And they realize that it is nearly impossible to steal so much cryptocurrencies without people knowing and without the authorities paying attention to this. And now they finally understood that they cannot get away with this, no matter how they tried to cover their tracks as everything in those blockchains are more or less public. So they have no choice but to return the funds back to Poly in the hopes that they will not be chased down and prosecuted by the authorities. Well at least that is what I believe happened. What are your thoughts? Do you think that the hacker(s) had good intentions? Or do you think that they just want to steal the cryptocurrencies but at the end realize that they cannot get away with it? To me it is rather obvious. They are not definitively Robin Hood or some sort of do-gooder. They are just thieves trying to steal funds from others and trying to defend themselves once they found out that they will not be able to get away with it.
And I do hope that they get prosecuted even after they return all the cryptocurrencies. There are white hack and there are those who are in just to steal from others. Expect others to forget what they did? Hmm…