Research shows crypto hackers aren’t all evil
The $611 million Poly Network hacker has begun repaying looted crypto assets. The disclosure comes only 24 hours after blockchain security startup Slowmist allegedly gained their ID data. They’ve already returned $256 million in tokens from the seizure.
Crypto is unusual in that it mixes an uncompromising libertarian attitude with a culture of collective accessible application development. The crypto community is characterized by an emphasis on incentive engineering, confidence in the inevitability of market results, and a sense of personal accountability for any missteps. People create smart contracts, invest thousands of dollars in those, and then publish the source code. Other people might identify flaws in those contracts and brutally misuse them to pocket the money. Earlier in 2016, “the DAO” became one of the first large DeFi hacks. Hackers had a bunch of apologists when they plundered $60 million in Ether. If a smart contract’s source code permits anyone to withdraw funds, then they are permitted to do so. Beyond the code, there’s really no criterion of law or ethics.
After stealing the funds, the hackers started sending them to other bitcoin addresses. According to experts at security firm SlowMist, a sum of $610 million in cryptocurrencies was shifted to three addresses. This shows that even if crypto-assets can be stolen, getting it cashed out is incredibly tough. This is due to the blockchain’s visibility and the usage of blockchain analytics. It’s not like the conventional financial institutes, which have a lot of restrictions and tunability. It’s more of a public distributed form of that.