The Poly Network drama seems to be officially over as the hacker has returned the remaining $141 million, according to a blog post from the DeFi project.
‘Full Asset Restoration’ Begins
As per the announcement, at 8:39 AM UTC, Mr. White Hat gave his private key to the 3/4 multi-signature wallet in an embedded message, retrieving the 28,853 ETH and 1,032 WBTC (Wrapped BTC) left and giving Poly Network the green light to return full asset control to users.
The team had to verify if the private key was genuine, which turned out to be so. Thus the 610 million stolen on August 10th are fully restored to the network (This doesn’t include the frozen 33 million USDT, the protocol is trying to solve this issue by contacting Tether directly).
“The team has confirmed that the private key is genuine, and functional. As of now, Poly Network has regained control of the $610 million (not including the frozen $33 million USDT) in assets that were overall affected in this attack.
Once again, we would like to thank Mr. White Hat for keeping his promise, as well as the community, partners and the multiple security agencies for their assistance.”
The Poly Network Drama Ends
The hacker found a vulnerability in Poly Network’s smart contract and proceeded to exploit the protocol on Binance Smart Chain, Ethereum, and Polygon, siphoning over 600 million in BNB, ETH, USDC, and a few other coins like DAI, UNI, and SHIB.
Technically speaking, this is the biggest heist in DeFi history. The weird twist is that the attacker turned out to be a white-hat hacker – or at least that’s what it seems – and returned the funds.
Other hacks amounted to a relatively smaller amount, like Meerkat Finance, which rug pulled its investors and ran away with 30 million on March 4th.
How to Protect Yourself from DeFi Attacks
It’s not easy to be 100% secure when talking about decentralized finance – considered the wild west of crypto. DeFi surely offers many benefits compared to antique traditional banking and financial systems. Yet, there are many challenges that are preventing it from becoming a trusted global financial ecosystem open for everyone.
Hacks, rug pulls, scams are likely to keep happening (and even with more frequency) in the future, so the best team to do is to DYOR (Do Your Own Research) to protect yourself from losing money.
CryptoPotato has outlined the best practices to help you avoid these scams, including how to do proper research and what red flags to spot when investing in a new protocol.