Blockchain Provider Open to Negotiating With Hacker Who Looted $100 Million

Blockchain Provider Open to Negotiating With Hacker Who Looted $100 Million

A blockchain provider is trying to negotiate with a hacker who managed to loot $100 million in Ethereum from one of its networks. 

On Thursday, Harmony reported(Opens in a new window) the hack of its Horizon “blockchain bridge,” which can interoperate between various other blockchains, including Ethereum. 

The incident took place at 5:30 a.m. that morning and resulted in the hacker transferring about $102 million in Ethereum to a digital wallet(Opens in a new window). It remains unclear how the culprit pulled off the heist, but Harmony has called in authorities to investigate. 

“Immediately following the attack, multiple cyber security partners, exchange partners, and the FBI were notified and requested to assist with an investigation in identifying the culprit and methods to retrieve stolen assets,” Harmony wrote(Opens in a new window) in a blog post. 

In addition, the blockchain provider has sent a message to the hacker about opening negotiations. Harmony sent the message by embedding some written text in an Ethereum transaction to the hacker’s wallet. 

“The Harmony team is interested in communicating and negotiating. Please reach out at [email protected] to start a conversation. Communication can be anonymous,” the embedded message(Opens in a new window) reads. 

The attempt at negotiation echoes the $600 million cryptocurrency heist that occurred last year at another blockchain provider called Poly Network. That company resorted to trying to reward the hacker with $500,000 if they returned the stolen funds. The hacker later voluntarily returned the looted cryptocurrency, saying they were never interested in the money in the first place.

It’s unclear who was behind the heist against Harmony. But the hacker will probably face a difficult time cashing out the stolen Ethereum since the digital wallet holding the funds has already been flagged. Still, if it turns out the hacker is tied to North Korea, then you can expect them to try and launder the funds through cryptocurrency mixing services. 

In the meantime, Harmony added: “We are working around the clock to ensure both the investigation and recovery of stolen funds are concluded in the most time efficient manner possible.”

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