Poloniex has officially pinpointed the hacker responsible for the $120 million heist on 10 November and is now offering a $10 million white hat reward if the pilfered funds are returned by 25 November, as per on-chain data disclosed by blockchain security firm PeckShield.
Taking charge of the situation, Justin Sun, Poloniex’s majority shareholder, utilised blockchain messages on the Ethereum network to directly communicate with addresses linked to the hack.
In a series of sixteen transactions, each valued at $0.10 in Ethereum, Justin’s wallets conveyed a consistent message in multiple languages.
The purpose of this transaction barrage was twofold: to confirm to the hacker that Poloniex had successfully identified them and to extend a white hat reward offer of $10 million.
According to the on-chain message, Poloniex has enlisted the support of law enforcement agencies from China, Russia, and the United States (US) to pursue legal action against the hacker if the funds are not voluntarily returned.
The message also conveyed that all misappropriated funds had been identified and marked for tracking, rendering them effectively unusable.
Furthermore, a stern warning was issued, cautioning any financial entities receiving these assets that their accounts could face freezing.
Setting a deadline of 25 November for the attacker to return the funds voluntarily, Poloniex initially proposed a white hat bounty equivalent to 5% of the stolen funds to incentivize cooperation.
As the initial seven-day period lapsed without compliance, the reward has now been dramatically increased to $10 million.
The Poloniex hack, which transpired on 10 November through a compromise of the exchange’s hot wallet, resulted in the loss of $120 million across various cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum (ETH), Tron (TRX), and Bitcoin (BTC).
Significantly, Ethereum, Tron, and Bitcoin constituted 80% of the stolen assets, with additional losses involving 3.1 million XRP and 577 billion Shiba Inu (SHIB).
In response to the breach, Poloniex assured affected users that it would cover the losses and temporarily suspended withdrawals to conduct a comprehensive investigation and enhance security measures.
The exchange has recently announced plans to recommence deposits and withdrawals in the upcoming week.