After one of the biggest heists in the history of decentralised finance, the Chinese DeFi platform Polywork offers the hacker a job at the company he virtually broke into.
What happened to Poly Network?
In a testament to the cryptocurrency’s unique way of making things work, a hacker has been offered a job by the company he hacked. In what other sector could this possibly happen except for crypto?
Poly Network is a decentralised finance platform that allows users to transfer cryptocurrencies between blockchains. In August, the company suffered what turned out to be the biggest hack in the history of cryptocurrency heists. The attacker stole around $600 million in various cryptocurrencies like Ether, several BSC tokens, and USDC.
The story took a turn for the absurd when the network urged the hacker to return the money and received an AMA-style of communication via embedded messages in crpyto transactions. To the question of why the hacker chose Poly Network as a target, he replied that “cross chain hacking is hot” and that they had spent a fair amount of time trying to identify vulnerabilities on the network to exploit. Fascinatingly, the hacker revealed to never have had the intention of keeping the money. Instead, the hack was to point out security flaws in the Poly Network smart contract architecture, “so that they can be eligible to manage a billion [dollar] project in the future.” He claimed:
“When spotting the bug, I had mixed feelings. Ask yourself what would you do if you were faced with such a fortune. Asking the project team politely so that they can fix it? Anyone could be the traitor given one billion. I can trust nobody! The only solution I can come up with is saving it in a trusted account.”
Hacker offered job in surprising turn of events
After the last chapter of this saga appeared to have been written, Poly Network offered the hacker a job as its chief security advisor. The company had also praised the attacker for the ethical behaviour and cooperation displayed in the hack’s aftermath. After a $500,000 bounty was initially refused, the company still plans to pay out the reward. Curiously, the hacker intends to pass on the bounty to reward blockchain security experts. In response to the job offer, they replied with a joke in an Ethereum transaction and left it open, whether they would take up Poly Network on its offer.
White-hat hackers not a rare sight
Interestingly, the crypto scene has developed a bit of a tradition for black-hat and white-hat hacking alike. Recently, an ethical hacker exposed a vulnerability in the popular SushiSwap protocol, which could have led to a massive $350 million loss of funds. They alerted the protocol’s security team, and the leak was closed before any damage could be done. That goes to show that the cryptocurrency space is far from being the playing field for malicious actors that regulators would make you want to believe. Rather, ethical and community-friendly behaviour is alive and well and the space exhibits self-healing mechanisms.