Cyber hackers ripped off more than $600 million in a slew of cryptocurrencies in one of the largest thefts in history, according to new reports.
“The hackers targeted PolyNetwork, a decentralized finance platform that enables people to swap tokens across different blockchains,” the New York Post reported. “The theft affects tens of thousands of people, PolyNetwork said in a letter that was posted on Twitter and addressed to the anonymous hackers.”
“Dear Hacker,” the letter said. “We are the poly network team. We want to establish communication with you and urge you to return the hacked assets.”
“The amount of money you hacked is the biggest one in the defi history,” the letter said, referring to decentralized finance. “Law enforcement in any country will regard this as a major economic crime and you will be pursued. It is very unwise for you to do any further transactions. The money you stole are from tens of thousands of crypto community members, hence the people. You should talk to us to work out a solution.”
— Poly Network (@PolyNetwork2) August 10, 2021
Researchers at blockchain security firm SlowMist said more than $610 million worth of cryptocurrency was stolen, the Post reported.
“After the initial hack, the crooks allegedly sent their crypto haul to various digital wallet addresses in an effort to cover their trail. SlowMist said they have ‘grasped the attacker’s mailbox, IP, and device fingerprints … and is tracking possible identity clues related to the Poly Network attacker,'” said the Post.
So far, several cyber currencies have been able to freeze the stolen assets. For instance, Tether, which issues a digital currency known as a stablecoin, said on Twitter that the company had frozen $33 million worth of the coin, according to the chief technology officer.
Meanwhile, Changpeng Zhao, CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange Binance, said his company is “coordinating with all our security partners to proactively help.”
Still, he wasn’t exactly optimistic. “There are no guarantees,” he said.
We are aware of the https://t.co/IgGJ0598Q0 exploit that occurred today. While no one controls BSC (or ETH), we are coordinating with all our security partners to proactively help. There are no guarantees. We will do as much as we can. Stay #SAFU. 🙏 https://t.co/TG0dKPapQT
— CZ 🔶 Binance (@cz_binance) August 10, 2021
Hackers have been running amok of late, with some deploying ransomware attacks on companies and then demanding cryptocurrency to unfreeze their systems.
In May, Colonial Pipeline paid nearly $5 million in ransom to Eastern European hackers who compromised the energy company’s pipeline system, according to a report from Bloomberg News.
The gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel company paid the ransom to a hacker group called DarkSide, the outlet said, based on reports from two sources close to the situation, The Daily Wire reported. The deposit helped get the pipeline back online on Wednesday afternoon, though because of the stoppage, it still may be several days before the supply is back to normal across the southeast.
“Colonial Pipeline Co. paid nearly $5 million to Eastern European hackers on Friday, contradicting reports earlier this week that the company had no intention of paying an extortion fee to help restore the country’s largest fuel pipeline, according to two people familiar with the transaction,” Bloomberg said.
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