Hackers return portion of $600 million stolen from cryptocurrency site

Hackers return portion of $600 million stolen from cryptocurrency site
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Hackers behind the breach of cryptocurrency company Poly Network on Wednesday returned almost half of the $600 million in digital tokens they stole following a plea from the company to do so.

Poly Network tweeted Wednesday afternoon that $260 million in stolen funds had been returned. This was a significant increase after Poly Network tweeted Wednesday morning that about $4.7 million of the $600 million stolen had been returned. 

Reuters reported Wednesday afternoon that $258 million had been returned, citing data from cryptocurrency tracking firm Elliptic. According to a tweet from Elliptic, the hackers asked for donations online in return for giving back the stolen funds. 

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Poly Network tweeted out an open letter to the hacker Tuesday urging them to return the stolen funds, noting the attack was “one of the biggest” in the history of decentralized finance. These platforms allow for cryptocurrency transactions without going through banks or exchanges. 

“Law enforcement in any country will regard this as a major economic crime and you will be pursued,” Poly Network wrote in the letter. “It is very unwise for you to do any further transactions. The money you stole are from tens of thousands of crypto community members, hence the people.

"You should talk to us to work out a solution.”

The company tweeted Tuesday that it believed the hacker or group, the identity of which has not been identified, had been able to steal the funds through exploiting a vulnerability between contract calls.

Cryptocurrency has increasingly gained attention in recent months, with it often being a preferred method for victims to pay those behind ransomware attacks, which have spiked over the past year. 

Capitol Hill this week has also been focused on cryptocurrency concerns. A group of bipartisan senators this week attempted to add an amendment to the Senate version of the $1 trillion infrastructure package that would have redefined who was subject to cryptocurrency regulations, but the amendment was blocked prior to the overall bill’s passage.