$600 million gone: The biggest crypto theft in history


Washington (CNN Business)Hackers have stolen some $600 million in cryptocurrency from the decentralized finance platform Poly Network, in what it says is the largest theft in the industry’s history.

A vulnerability in Poly Network allowed the thief to make off with the funds, the platform said Tuesday, begging the attacker to return the money. 

“The amount of money you hacked is the biggest one in the defi history,” Poly Network wrote in a letter to the attacker it posted to Twitter. “The money you stole are from tens of thousands of crypto community members… you should talk to us to work out a solution.”

Poly Network urged other members of the cryptocurrency ecosystem to “blacklist” the assets coming from addresses used by the attacker to siphon away the funds — which included a mix of various coins including $33 million of Tether, according to Tether’s CTO. The cryptocurrency exchange Binance said it was “coordinating with all our security partners to actively help.” Poly Network links together the blockchains of multiple virtual currencies to create interoperability among them.

Following the hack, Poly Network established several addresses to which it said the attacker could return the money. And it appears the hacker is cooperating: As of 7:47 a.m. ET Wednesday, Poly Network said, it had received about $4.7 million back. It was not immediately clear who was behind the hack or why the money is being returned.

Regulators have increased their scrutiny of crypto platforms as investors pour billions of dollars into digital currencies. Senator Elizabeth Warren recently asked SEC Chair Gary Gensler to investigate the SEC’s ability to oversee trading on crypto platforms.

In response, last week, Gensler said: “Right now, I believe investors using these platforms are not adequately protected.”


7 thoughts on “$600 million gone: The biggest crypto theft in history

  1. It’s beyond me how anyone can think anything “crypto” is secure or private. And we never hear about where the commodities are behind this. Wheat? Gold? What?! What is this crypto “money” system based on?


  2. Not all cryptos are the same.
    Most have a CEO and is centralized. These can just make more whenever they want. It may be a ‘private’ network but it’s still fiat. And hackable.

    Bitcoin is not.private but is also not centralized and is open source. There can be only a set amount and they require a proof of work in order to “mine” more until all allowed are mined. Bitcoin is a public ledger system. It shows a running public log of who made it and to whom it has been transferred to/from. One cannot hack it and say they have more than they do. It’s a public ledger. It’s backed by the proof of work/energy used to mine it. More cannot be created. It is decentralized so as to be uncontrollable.

    Hope that helps some.

    1. If there is a pile of dirt on the ground and I take a shovel and move it to the right two feet, that is work. The question is where is the value.
      Also, after that last ransomware attack, half of the bitcoin that was stolen was tracked down, hence traced, and returned.
      The people may have done the work on the algorithms, but how does that hold any value when it is in the past? And if they can trace the coinage, which it was sworn they could not do, then they can be hacked.

    2. Thank you, Ed and Henry. I realized I’m playin’ in an arena way beyond me. I just can’t get a full understanding of what this crypto game is. I had to look up “mining” and that confused me more. Too many terms to define. I guess I just have to let it go, but honor my gut feelings that’s it’s not of, for, and by the people.


  3. What? You mean cryptocurrency (aka digital currency, meaning it can obviously and easily be hacked and stolen with the touch of a key) isn’t secure after all???

    No! Say it ain’t so….

    “It’s beyond me how anyone can think anything “crypto” is secure or private.“

    Galen, I’ve been trying to tell my sheeple friends this for years. As Thomas Paine would say, “Like trying to administer medicine to the dead.”

    People don’t understand or are in denial with the fact that if something is digital, it can and will be hacked. Therefore, it can never be safe. Plain and simple.

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