Most Influential 2021: Polynetwork Hacker

For educating us on the difference between “hack” and “exploit.”

AccessTimeIconDec 7, 2021 at 2:08 p.m. UTC
Updated Dec 13, 2021 at 8:19 p.m. UTC
Layer 2

There is still much that is unknown about the largest decentralized finance (DeFi) security breach to date, the sophisticated attack that drained $600 million worth of cryptocurrencies from the China-based PolyNetwork, including the identity of the “hacker” (or hackers) and their underlying motivations. It was a story that riveted the industry, in part because the “Polynetwork hacker” ultimately returned all the stolen funds while communicating with the public the whole way through.

The article is part of CoinDesk’s 2021 Most Influential list.

“Mr. White Hat,” as the hacker referred to themselves in one message, said they attacked the cross-blockchain platform to call attention to an unidentified vulnerability and always intended to return the funds (minus a small bug bounty). But it’s just as likely he/she/they were forced to do the right thing after several crypto exchanges and USDT stablecoin issuer moved to blacklist the funds.

Additional context: The crypto industry differentiates between a “hack,” which means breaking into a system, and an “exploit,” which leverages or makes vulnerable existing code.

CoinDesk - Unknown

(Kevin Ross/CoinDesk)



Read more about

DISCLOSURE

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Trending

1
CoinDesk - Unknown
NFT Platforms Should Be Caught by EU Money-Laundering Overhaul, Lawmakers Say

Unhosted wallets and decentralized finance were left largely unscathed by two landmark crypto laws agreed to last week, but left-wing lawmakers may seek another go as they discuss dirty-money rules.

CoinDesk - Unknown
2
CoinDesk - Unknown
Bitcoin se recupera y supera los $19K; Nomura advierte de una recesión en EE. UU. y Reino Unido

Nomura escribió acerca de una recesión en la eurozona, el Reino Unido y Asia Pacífico, lo que podría influir en los precios de las criptomonedas.

CoinDesk - Unknown
3
CoinDesk - Unknown
Argentinos se refugian en stablecoins durante el fin de semana tras dimisión del ministro de Economía

Los principales exchanges del país informaron que los usuarios compraron hasta tres veces más criptomonedas estables que durante un fin de semana normal, en medio una crisis económica en ciernes.

CoinDesk - Unknown
4
CoinDesk - Unknown
Polkadot Builder Parity Technologies Adds 3 Execs to Leadership Team

The new executives joining Parity are Eran Barak (COO), Peter Ruchatz (CMO) and Fahmi Syed (CFO)

CoinDesk - Unknown