Chances that the hacker will return the entire loot of $197 million remain slim, as no more outbound transactions — other than the 3,000 ETH — were recorded at the time of writing.
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The recent attack that drained $197 million from Euler Finance was dubbed the biggest decentralized finance (DeFi) hack of 2023 so far. However, this may not hold for much longer as the hacker reportedly had a change of heart.
On March 18, roughly 3,000 Ether (ETH) ($5.4 million) were returned to Euler Finance’s deployer address from the Euler Finance hacker’s address. Blockchain investigator PeckShield identified three transactions that were used to send the funds.
— PeckShield Inc. (@peckshield) March 18, 2023
Cointelegraph confirmed that the hacker transferred 1,000 ETH per transaction to Euler’s deployer account. However, chances that the hacker will return the entire loot of $197 million remain slim, as no more outbound transactions were recorded at the time of writing.
On March 16, Euler Finance announced a $1 million reward to track down the hacker and retrieve the funds.
Today the Euler Foundation is launching a $1M reward in the hope that this provides additional incentive for information that leads to the Euler protocol attacker’s arrest and the return of all funds extracted by the attacker.
— Euler Labs (@eulerfinance) March 15, 2023
The exploiter was able to drain $197 million through multiple transactions and later used a multichain bridge to transfer the funds from the BNB Chain to Ethereum.
Related: Euler Finance hacked despite 10 audits in 2 years, says CEO
Soon after a $1 million bounty was announced, the stolen funds were moved into the crypto mixer Tornado Cash.
#PeckShieldAlert @eulerfinance exploiter on the move
~1,000 $ETH into Tornado Cash through intermediary address 0xc66d…c9ahttps://t.co/LAkY66YpoF pic.twitter.com/0XhQV1nbgn
— PeckShieldAlert (@PeckShieldAlert) March 16, 2023
Euler Finance demanded that the hacker return 90% of the funds within 24 hours to avoid possible jail time.
In a surprising turn of events, a hacker associated with the Euler Finance smart contract has started to return hundreds of individual Ether tokens back to their rightful owners. Last week, the Euler Finance smart contract was hacked, resulting in a loss of $20M worth of cryptocurrency tokens.
The hacker, or group of hackers, initially planned to move the stolen Ether tokens via 160 different transactions to various accounts. After those initial transactions, the hacker started to send the tokens back to their original owners, presumably after realizing the nature of the crime.
The hack was done by exploiting a flaw in the Euler Finance contract, which enabled the hacker to gain access to more wallets than was intended. At the time of the hack, the user balances were frozen, leaving many users unable to access the funds in their wallets.
The return of the tokens has been praised by the crypto community, as it serves as an example of the collective efforts to further ensure the security of tokens in the crypto world. However, the return of the tokens does not excuse the magnitude of the damage caused by this hack.
The Euler team has stated that they are working to develop an infrastructure that will better protect user funds in the future. It has also been mentioned that there could be an airdrop or a buyback program set up in the future, however no further details have been disclosed yet.
In the meantime, it is a positive sign to see the hacker returning the stolen Ether tokens to their rightful owners. Not only does it provide some closure to the victims of the hack, but it inspires the community to further secure their tokens and use the collective strength of the platform to prevent such occurrences in the future.