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Poly Network, a DeFi provider, was hacked for $600 million

Photo of: Joseph Stone
by Joseph Stone

In what looks to be one of the greatest cryptocurrency heists ever, hackers took $600 million from Poly Network.

Poly Network, a blockchain platform, said hackers had seized thousands of digital currencies like Ether by exploiting a weakness in its system.

It begged the thieves to “restore communication and return the compromised assets” in a message shared on Twitter.

The hack is comparable in scope to prior massive breaches at exchanges like Coincheck and Mt Gox.

Poly Network stated in its letter: “You have hacked one of the largest sums of money in DeFi [decentralised finance] history. Any country’s law enforcement will view this as a significant economic crime, and you will be pursued.”

The combined value of the stolen crypto exceeds $600 million on three blockchains, totaling about $273 million on Ethereum, about $253 million on Binance Smart Chain, and nearly $85 million on Polygon.

After a preliminary investigation, the hacked protocol located the cause of the vulnerability, claiming that the attacker exploited a vulnerability between contract calls by urging miners on the affected blockchains and crypto exchanges to blacklist tokens from the leaked addresses.

Following the attack, Tether, the world’s largest stablecoin, froze approximately $33 million in USDT associated with the hacker’s wallet address, leading to ideological remarks on Twitter questioning the decentralization of the DeFi corner of the space?

Meanwhile, some of the biggest crypto exchange operators have spoken out, offering help and support, including Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, Huobi co-founder Du Jun and OKEx CEO Jay Hao.

While centralized exchanges have also responded by showing support for the hacked protocol, blockchain security intelligence is still trying to define the exploited vulnerability by tracing the attacker’s steps.