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Hacker Who Stole $600M in Cryptocurrency Offered Job and Reward From the Company He Stole From

Published: August 18, 2021
PARIS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 01: In this photo illustration, a woman shows different visual representations of cryptocurrencies, Ripple, Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum on February 01, 2018 in Paris, France.(Image: Chesnot/Getty Images)

A week after a hacker perpetrated what many are calling the largest cryptocurrency heist in history, the hacker — who stole roughly $610 million worth of cryptocurrency — has been offered both a job and a hefty reward by the company he stole from.

The hacker, currently known as “Mr. White Hat” has reportedly returned upwards of half of the cryptocurrency that was stolen. It is still not entirely clear whether the hacker is part of a group or acted on his own.

PolyNetwork, a company claiming to be “building the next generation internet” was the victim of the hackers exploits and is also the one who has tabled the job offer and reward for the hacker’s efforts.

The company has heaped praise on the hacker who they themselves dubbed “Mr. White Hat.” A “White Hat” hacker is used to describe someone who finds vulnerabilities in computer networks for the purpose of alerting companies and organizations of their risks. 

On Tuesday, August 17, PolyNetwork offered the hacker a position with their company, “Chief Security Adviser” and a reward of US$500,000. 

“To extend our thanks and encourage Mr. White Hat to continue contributing to security advancement in the blockchain world together with PolyNetwork, we cordially invite Mr. White Hat to be the Chief Security Adviser of PolyNetwork,” the company said in a statement. 

In addition, the company stated that they had no intention of holding Mr. White Hat legally responsible for the exploit; a promise that they may not be in the position to keep as the decision whether or not the hacker is charged with a crime may not be up to them. 

The generous offer comes as PolyNetwork continues to work to get all of their client’s money back. 

To date, the hacker has returned roughly half of what was initially stolen, some US$235 million but the remainder has been placed into a joint account that is protected by two digital keys. One of the keys was given to PolyNetwork and the other key was kept by the hacker. In order to access the cryptocurrency one would need to be in possession of both keys.

Reportedly, PolyNetwork has been pleading with Mr. White Hat to turn over his key so they can access the currency but the hacker has yet to do so despite PolyNetwork’s generous offers and praise. 

Cryptocurrency researchers are speculating that PolyNetwork’s generosity and praise may simply be posturing or a tactical decision aimed at getting all of their funds back while appeasing Mr. White Hat with accolades, titles and of course, money.