Hackers return some of the $600M stolen in cryptocurrency theft: 5 details

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Hackers on Aug. 11 began sending back some of the $600 million they stole from blockchain-powered decentralized finance platform Poly Network, CNBC reported. 

Five details: 

1. The attack is likely to be one of the biggest cryptocurrency thefts ever, according to the report. The hackers exploited a vulnerability in Poly Network, which is a platform that looks to connect different blockchains so they can work together. 

2. Poly Network disclosed the attack Aug. 10 and asked to communicate with the hackers, urging them to "return the hacked assets": "The amount of money you hacked is the biggest in defi history," the company said in a tweet. 

3. DeFi is a broad term encompassing financial applications based on blockchain technology that look to cut out intermediaries, such as exchanges and brokerages. 

4. On Aug. 11, the hackers began returning some of the funds they stole and sent a message to Poly Network embedded in a cryptocurrency transaction saying they were "ready to return" the money. Poly Network responded to the hackers and directed them to send the funds to three crypto addresses. 

5. More than $4.8 million has been returned to the crypto addresses as of Aug. 11. Tom Robinson, chief scientist of blockchain analytics firm Elliptic, told CNBC that he thinks the hackers may have returned some of the funds because it was safer for them. 

"I think this demonstrates that even if you can steal cryptoassets, laundering them and cashing out is extremely difficult, due to the transparency of the blockchain and the use of blockchain analytics," he said. "In this case the hacker concluded that the safest option was just to return the stolen assets."

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