OK, so you stole $600m-plus from us, how about you be our Chief Security Advisor, Poly Network asks thief

Could it be a trap?


The mysterious thief who stole $600m-plus in cryptocurrencies from Poly Network has been offered the role of Chief Security Advisor at the Chinese blockchain biz.

It’s been a rollercoaster ride lately for Poly Network. The outfit builds software that handles the exchange of crypto-currencies and other assets between various blockchains. Last week, it confirmed a miscreant had drained hundreds of millions of dollars in digital tokens from its platform by exploiting a security weakness in its design.

After Poly Network urged netizens, cryptoexchanges, and miners to reject transactions involving the thief's wallet addresses, the crook started giving the digital money back – and at least $260m of tokens have been returned. The company said it has maintained communication with the miscreant, who is referred to as Mr White Hat.

"It is important to reiterate that Poly Network has no intention of holding Mr White Hat legally responsible, as we are confident that Mr White Hat will promptly return full control of the assets to Poly Network and its users," the organization said.

"While there were certain misunderstandings in the beginning due to poor communication channels, we now understand Mr White Hat’s vision for Defi and the crypto world, which is in line with Poly Network’s ambitions from the very beginning — to provide interoperability for ledgers in Web 3.0."

First, Poly Network offered him $500,000 in Ethereum as a bug bounty award. He said he wasn’t going to accept the money, though the reward was transferred to his wallet anyway. Now, the company has gone one step further and has offered him the position of Chief Security Advisor.

“We are counting on more experts like Mr White Hat to be involved in the future development of Poly Network since we believe that we share the vision to build a secure and robust distributed system,” it said in a statement. “Also, to extend our thanks and encourage Mr White Hat to continue contributing to security advancement in the blockchain world together with Poly Network, we cordially invite Mr White Hat to be the Chief Security Advisor of Poly Network.”

It's unclear whether so-called Mr White Hat will accept the job offer or not. Judging by the messages embedded in Ethereum transactions exchanged between both parties, it doesn’t look likely at the moment. He still hasn’t returned $238m, to the best of our knowledge, and said he isn’t ready to hand over the keys to the wallet where the funds are stored. He previously claimed he had attacked Poly Network for fun and to highlight the vulnerability in its programming.

“Dear Poly, glad to see that you are moving things to the right direction! Your essays are very convincing while your actions are showing your distrust, what a funny game...I am not ready to publish the key in this week…,” according to one message he sent. ®

The Register has asked Poly Network for comment. ®


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