In a cyber attack on the US service provider Poly Network, hackers stole cryptocurrencies with a record value of up to 600 million dollars (510 million euros). It is still unclear whether it is one of the largest crypto money robberies of all time or whether the hackers only wanted to point out the weak point in the technical protocol with a drastic action.
Poly Network announced on Twitter that strangers had cracked its security measures and diverted the deposits of “tens of thousands” of customers to accounts they controlled. The company itself spoke of the “biggest theft in the history of cryptocurrencies”.
Various blockchains were affected by the attack. The specialist portal “Cryptonews” reported that it was mainly about Ethereum worth $ 273 million. Ethereum and the associated motto Ether is the second largest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin. Furthermore, around 253 million dollars were stolen from the Binance Smart Chain, as well as around 85 million dollars from the polygon network.
After the hacker attack became known, Poly Network called on the perpetrators to give in: “Dear hackers, we would like to get in touch with you and ask you to return the hacked assets,” tweeted the company. The hackers should speak to the company “to find a solution”.
Transferred a fraction back
A small fraction of the looted values were actually transferred back on Wednesday: a hacker initially sent USD 10,000 in the crypto currency USD Coin to a digital wallet that Poly Network had set up specifically for the cyber criminals to return the values. Fifteen minutes later, according to the trading platform Coinbase, another million US dollars were deposited in this account. Later, $ 1.1 million was transferred from the Binance Smart Chain to the wallet. A total of $ 4.7 million had been transferred back by Wednesday noon, said Poly Network. Most of the prey, however, has so far disappeared.
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are based on blockchain technology. This makes it possible to do without banks, since the transactions take place directly from user to user. Digital currencies are enjoying growing popularity because of their value, the anonymity they offer users, and the large volatility in prices that promise higher returns than traditional investments in global equity markets.
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Precisely because of these price fluctuations and the unclear legal situation, the use of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies as traditional currencies in everyday transactions is, however, repeatedly questioned and rather used as an object of speculation and investment.
Poly Network wants to enable the exchange of data and values between different blockchains. “Our mission is to build the next generation of the Internet,” is the credo. (AFP / dpa)