Mr White Hat, the alias for the Poly Network hacker who stole approximately $613 million dollars, has been offered a job at Poly Network as Chief Security Adviser.
Last week, Mr White Hat hacked Poly Network, a decentralized finance platform built to implement interoperability between multiple chains, and moved approximately $613 million which is being described by many analysts as the biggest heist in the history of decentralized finance (DeFi).
The hacker claimed the attack against the PolyNetwork platform was an act of “hacking for good” to “save the project.”
Poly Network has responded by praising the hacker, who is nicknamed “Mr White Hat,” a term used to describe “ethical” hackers who find vulnerabilities in computer networks and alert companies and organizations to fix them.
Yesterday, in an act of gratitude, Poly Network offered Mr White Hat a job as Chief Security Adviser. The identity of the hacker isn’t yet known, nor is it clear if Mr White Hat is a single individual or a group of attackers.
Poly Network is still struggling to get all of the stolen money back. After returning half of the network’s assets, the hacker deposited the rest of the $235 million into a joint account that is protected by two keys needed to unlock the funds. One of the keys was given to Poly Network, and the hacker has kept the other.
Poly Network has been imploring Mr White Hat to turn in his key so the funds can be accessed. The hacker however has yet to do so, despite the job offer and another offer that would allow the hacker to keep $500,000 of the funds.
What they are saying
Poly Network said in a statement that, “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 Adviser of PolyNetwork. Again, 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.”
Tom Robinson, co-founder of blockchain forensics firm Elliptic Enterprises Ltd, said in an interview that, “There have been plenty of DeFi hacks, but there haven’t been any ongoing conversations between the hacker and the project. It seems like the hacker wants to retain some control over the funds. It just feels to me like the hacker has a bit of an ego. He wants to retain some attention.”
Researchers at the cryptocurrency research firm Chainalysis Inc. speculate that Poly Network’s posture may be a tactical decision aimed at getting all of their funds back by appeasing Mr White Hat with money, accolades and titles.
Gurvais Grigg, global public sector chief technology officer of Chainalysis stated, “Perhaps Poly Network is implying trust in the attacker in an attempt to convince them to do the right thing and return the funds as soon as possible so they can begin the process of restarting their business. While it still remains to be seen how this strange story will play out, I can say that this is not typical behavior of true white hat hacker(s). The good news is that the blockchain is transparent, and we, along with the cryptocurrency community, have our eyes on the funds.”
According to crypto security firm CipherTrace Inc, A total of $156 million has been stolen from DeFi hacks in the first five months of this year, surpassing the $129 million stolen in such attacks in all of 2020. This goes to show that there are risks involved in running DeFi platforms and network security is very paramount.