Hackers Behind Historic Crypto Heist Have Reportedly Returned $256 Million in Stolen Funds

Less than a day after wreaking one of the biggest crypto thefts in history, hackers have reportedly refunded more than a third of their loot.

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Photo: Ozan Kose (Getty Images)

After hackers hit Poly Network with one of the largest crypto heists in recent memory, the company published an open letter on Tuesday pleading with culprits to get their assets back. Apparently, the letter worked, and the hackers are reportedly already starting to return a good chunk of their haul.

The Block first reported that whoever was behind the hack has returned about $256 million in crypto assets back to the company as of Wednesday morning. That’s still far below the $611 million the hackers reportedly stole, which reportedly made it the largest hack in the history of decentralized finance, frequently known as DeFi.

Less than 24 hours after Poly posted its letter—reminding the attackers that law enforcement “in any country” would likely tail them for their crime—the hackers began transferring millions worth of different assets back to Poly Network’s crypto wallet. Among other assets, the hackers returned $2 million in ShibaCoin, $1.1 million in Binance BTCB Tokens, and roughly $1 million in a custom token that the attackers created themselves, literally called “The hacker is ready to surrender,” according to the Block.


Considering how authorities across the U.S., Russia, China, and across the European Union have been shifting towards tougher crackdowns on crypto crimes, it’s not hard to see why these attackers might have gotten cold feet. There’s also the fact that one blockchain security vendor, Slowmist, claims to have identified the attacker’s IP address and email info using bits of data the hackers left in the wake of their exploits. In a Weibo post from Tuesday describing their findings, Slowmist described that the attack seemed to be “a long-planned, organized and well-prepared” affair. The post also hints that the funds initially used to get the hack up and running could be traced back to Hoo, an obscure crypto exchange based out of China.

Poly Network has recovered over a third of its hacker’s haul so far, but there are many other companies in the wide world of crypto that don’t. A market research report on the DeFi industry that dropped earlier this week found that bad actors had conned $474 million from platforms like Poly between January and July of this year.