Hackers exploited a vulnerability in Poly Network, a platform that seeks to connect different blockchains so that they can work together.
Poly Network disclosed the attack on Twitter and asked to establish communication with the hackers, and urged them to “return the pirated assets.”
A blockchain is a register of activities on which various cryptocurrencies are based. Each digital coin has its own blockchain and they are different from each other. Poly Network claims to be able to make these different blockchains work with each other.
Poly Network is a decentralized financial platform. DeFi is a broad term encompassing financial applications based on blockchain technology that seeks to weed out middlemen, such as brokerage houses and stock exchanges. Hence, it is nicknamed decentralized.
Proponents say it can make financial applications like lending or borrowing more efficient and cheaper.
“The amount of money you hacked is the largest in the history of the challenge,” Poly Network said in another tweeter.
Once the hackers stole the money, they started sending it to various other cryptocurrency addresses. Researchers at security firm SlowMist said a total of more than $ 610 million in cryptocurrency was transferred to three different addresses.
Poly Network urged cryptocurrency exchanges to “blacklist tokens” from addresses linked to hackers.
Meanwhile, Changpeng Zhao, CEO of the main cryptocurrency exchange Binance, said he was aware of the attack.
He said Binance “is coordinating with all of our security partners to proactively help”, but that “there are no guarantees.”
“We will take legal action and urge hackers to return the assets,” Poly Network said on Twitter.
SlowMist said in a tweet that their researchers had “seized the attacker’s mailbox, IP address and device fingerprints” and “were tracking possible identity clues related to the attacker from Poly Network ”.
The researchers concluded that the theft was “probably a long-standing planned, organized and prepared attack.”
DeFi has become a key target for attacks.
From the start of the year through July, DeFi-related hacks totaled $ 361 million, an increase of almost three times from all of 2020, according to the cryptocurrency compliance firm. CipherTrace.
DeFi-related fraud is also on the rise. In the first seven months of the year, they accounted for 54% of the total crypto fraud volume compared to 3% for the whole of last year.