Poloniex confirms hackers identity, offers $10M white hat reward to return stolen funds Assad Jafri · 3 hours ago · 2 min read
Justin Sun sent blockchain messages on the Ethereum network to the hacker’s addresses and warned them to return the stolen funds for a reward or face legal action in multiple countries.
Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate. Image includes combined content which may include AI-generated content.
Poloniex has officially identified the hacker responsible for stealing $120 million from the exchange on Nov. 10 and offered a $10 million white reward if the funds are returned by Nov. 25, according to on-chain data shared by blockchain security firm PeckShield.
Justin Sun, Poloniex’s majority shareholder, sent blockchain messages on the Ethereum network to addresses involved in the hack. Sun’s wallets initiated sixteen transactions, each worth $0.10 in Ethereum, containing the same message in multiple languages.
The purpose of the transaction barrage was to inform the hacker that Poloniex had successfully confirmed their identity and to offer a white hat reward of $10 million.
According to the on-chain message, Poloniex has engaged law enforcement agencies from China, Russia, and the U.S. to take legal action against the hacker if the funds are not returned.
The message stated that all stolen funds had been identified and marked for tracking, rendering them unusable. Furthermore, it warned that any financial counterparties receiving these assets would face freezing of their accounts.
The company set a deadline of Nov. 25 for the attacker to return the funds voluntarily.
According to the message:
“If not returned by that time, police forces from multiple countries will take action.”
Poloniex initially offered a white hat bounty of 5% of the stolen funds to incentivize cooperation. As the seven-day deadline approached without compliance, the reward has now been increased to a staggering $10 million.
The Poloniex hack occurred on Nov. 10 through a compromise of the exchange’s hot wallet — resulting in the loss of $120 million in various cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum (ETH), Tron (TRX), and Bitcoin (BTC).
At the time, Poloniex assured affected users that it would cover the losses and temporarily halted withdrawals to investigate the hack and improve security measures. The exchange recently announced plans to resume deposits and withdrawals in the coming week.
Sun’s initial offer of a 5% bounty on the stolen funds, made on the day of the attack, received no response from the attackers. With the increased $10 million reward and law enforcement involvement, Poloniex is taking a formidable stance against the largest black hat hacks of the year.