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This cryptocurrency theft allowed hackers to steal $600 million

Cryptocurrency hackers robbed people of $600 million in a huge crypto hack

An illustration of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency.
Cryptocurrency hackers robbed people of $600 million in a huge crypto hack.
Photo Illustration by Alex Cochran, Deseret News

A group of hackers recently stole close to $600 million in a cryptocurrency theft off of the Poly Network, which is the biggest cryptocurrency theft in the crypto industry.

How did the Poly Network theft happen?

Hackers found a vulnerable spot in the Poly Network — an ecosystem of cryptocurrency, where people can hold their assets — that allowed them to steal people’s funds, according to Poly Network.

  • “The amount of money you hacked is the biggest one in the defi history,” Poly Network wrote in a letter that it posted on Twitter. “The money you stole are from tens of thousands of crypto community members ... you should talk to us to work out a solution.”

Poly Network said its members should blacklist any assets that come from the addresses of the known attacker, which was released to members. Poly Network sent out several addresses to where the attacker could send the money, according to CNN.

  • Binance — a cryptocurrency exchange platform — said it was “coordinating with all our security partners to actively help,” according to CNN.

The dangers of cryptocurrency scams

While the Poly Network situation isn’t really a scam, it highlights the dangers of using cryptocurrency without proper knowledge about how it all works. Scams appear to be commonplace.

For example, Dogecoin investors were scammed in May when Tesla CEO Elon Musk appeared on “Saturday Night Live.” A report from TRM Labs, which shares intelligence on cryptocurrency, found scammers hosted YouTube livestreams for Musk’s appearance on “SNL.” The livestreams requested dogecoins from people with the promise that they would get double their coins back. The promise was not fulfilled.

In fact, the scammer reportedly received 9.7 million dogecoins, which was worth $5 million at that time, according to Business Insider.

How to stay safe from cryptocurrency scams

There’s no question that people are investing in cryptocurrencies right now. But that means there are also scams out there.

Crypto expert Adam Morris, co-founder of Crypto Head, told the Deseret News in an email that scams are easy to find — they usually sound too good to be true.

“People should always be wary of platforms offering huge returns,” Morris said. “Never send your money or cryptocurrency to a platform you don’t completely trust. If you do some quick research you should be able to gauge online how reputable a company is.

“Even if you see big names like Elon Musk supposedly endorsing the investment, do not take this at face value,” he added. “Scammers are so successful because they use recognizable and trusted names to dupe people into believing it’s a sound investment when really these names have no association to it at all.”