Poly Network loses R8.7bn in ‘biggest’ crypto-currency hack

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Poly Network, a global platform that looks to connect different blockchains so they can work together, has been hacked, reportedly losing $600 million (R8.7 billion) worth of crypto-currency.

The company disclosed the theft on Twitter, addressing the hackers in an open letter, saying: “We want to establish communication with you and urge you to return the hacked assets.

“The amount you hacked is the biggest one in DeFi [decentralised finance] history. Law enforcement in any country will regard this as [a] major economic crime and you will be pursued. It is very unwise for you to do any further transactions.”

The company added its team traced the stolen assets to three addresses, and asked token issuers to blacklist tokens coming from those addresses.

DeFi is a blockchain-based form of finance that does not rely on central financial intermediaries such as brokerages, exchanges, or banks to offer traditional financial instruments, and instead utilises smart contracts on blockchains, the most common being Ethereum.

Crypto intelligence firm CipherTrace notes DeFi-related hacks made up 76% of major hack volume in the crypto arena this year, as of the end of July.

CNBC reports that hackers exploited a vulnerability in Poly Network.

This is the second sizable crypto-currency heist to be reported in recent months, following the Africrypt saga, which saw South African investors lose billions of rands after claims the platform was hacked.

Africrypt directors, brothers Ameer, 17, and Raees Cajee, 20, disappeared after claiming the company had suffered a hack, leaving investors millions of rands out of pocket.

It has been reported Africrypt investors lost at least R200 million, though that number has, in some quarters, been put as high as R50 billion.

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