Poloniex Offers $10M Reward to $120M Hacker; Justin Sun Leads Ethereum Network Plea

By Ben Knight November 20, 2023 In Ethereum, Poloniex
Source: Adobe Stock
  • Prominent crypto trading platform Poloniex was hacked to the tune of $120M last week.
  • Justin Sun, the founder of Tron and Poloniex, states that his team has identified the hacker and has contacted them via Ethereum transactions.
  • The exchange’s executives have offered the hacker a white hat reward of $10M if they are to return the stolen funds.

Poloniex, a popular centralised crypto exchange headed by Tron founder Justin Sun, is still reeling from a major compromise last week, with a hacker making off with US $120 million (AU$ 184 million) worth of customer’s funds. The stolen funds were mostly concentrated in Ethereum (ETH), Tron (TRX) and Bitcoin (BTC). Although the exchange itself immediately covered the lost assets with its own reserves, the Poloniex executive team swiftly shut down deposits and withdrawals to review the platform’s security measures. However, after stringent research and a “comprehensive wallet update”, Poloniex is ready to re-open deposits and withdrawals to its thousands of users.

Hacker Identified and Offered a $10M “Reward” for Returning Funds

According to Poloniex and Justin Sun, the platform has identified the attacker responsible for stealing US$ 120 million. Although the exact mechanism of both the hack and how they were identified is unclear, Sun made contact through a series of sixteen transactions on the Ethereum network, each worth ten cents. 

The transactions each continued the same message, but translated into several languages, offering the hacker US$ 10 million (AU$ 15.35 million) if they return the stolen assets. This is known as a “white hat reward” given to ethical hackers who intend to expose issues in a platform’s security for the greater good, rather than personal gain.

If the hacker does not respond by November 25th, Sun has threatened to involve law enforcement from several companies, including China, the United States and Russia. The ball is now well and truly in the hacker’s court – and it will be interesting to see how they react over the next five days.

Ben Knight

Ben Knight

Ben Knight is a writer and editor from Melbourne with a passion for all things music and finance. He enjoys turning complex topics – especially the technical details of cryptocurrency – into digestible bites that anybody can understand. He acquired his Master’s in Writing, Editing and Publishing from RMIT in 2019 and has run his own creative writing business ever since.

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