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Current Affairs

Stealing of crypto tokens from Poly Network

Date: 16 August 2021 Tags: IT, Mobile & Computers

Issue

Hackers were able to steal $613 million worth of cryptocurrency from token-swapping platform Poly Network.

 

Background

This is the biggest digital currency heist that has taken place in recent years. The hackers returned back $260 million.

 

Details

  • Poly Network is a decentralized finance (DeFi) platform that allows users to transfer or swap tokens across different blockchains.

  • It will allow an individual to transfer bitcoin from Binance Smart Chain to Ethereal blockchain for a specific purpose.

  • Poly Network was launched by founders of Chinese blockchain project Neo. However, there is no idea of Poly Network’s website or who runs it.

 

The stealing

  • Ethereum, Polygon and Binance Smart Chain are the blockchains on which Poly Network operates.  A smart contract is used to transfer bitcoins from one platform to another.

  • The smart contract currently in use has large amount of liquidity for efficiently swapping tokens between platforms. The hackers used vulnerability in this contract to perform the heist.

  • The hackers were able to steal coins in more than 12 cryptocurrency forms including ether and later transferred the coins to their wallets.

 

Hackers

  • Experts say that the hack was well organized, planned and perpetrated using sophisticated tools. They managed to trace IP address used by the hacker.

  • The hacker has portrayed himself/herself as ethical hacker but experts do not buy into the argument.

  • The ethical hackers are usually concerned with exposing vulnerability and do not steal such huge amount of money. They had returned some sum as they were unable to convert them.

 

Hacking

  • Hacking is a digital action that will aim at accessing unauthorized devices, servers and network to perform actions that violates cyber laws.

  • Hacking can be unethical or ethical based on the purpose of the perpetrator. Ethical hacking is usually done to expose vulnerability and help secure the system.