HTX, Huobi Global’s crypto exchange, has recently announced the return of the funds that were stolen back in late September and issued a bounty after resolving the issue.
It looks like the HTX/Huobi hacker has returned the funds (4997 ETH)
— ZachXBT (@zachxbt) October 7, 2023
Back then, one of the exchange’s hot wallets was drained of almost 5,000 ETH tokens which accounted for almost $8 million at that time. HTX tried contacting the concerned hacker and claimed that it was aware of the exploiter’s identity. Similarly, HTX offered to pay a 5% bounty of around 250 ETH or $400,000 and not to take any legal action if the hacker returned the remaining 95% of the funds before the deadline of October 2.
Huobi Global adviser and HTX investor, Justin Sun, claimed that the exploiter made the right choice, and took the opportunity of thanking others in the crypto space for their help. It is a fact that emphasizing the strengthening of blockchain security and protecting the funds of the users is a challenging task, but HTX claims that it has been working tirelessly to ensure them. It was highlighted that these two factors would be continuously worked on to make them much better than before.
We have confirmed that the hacker has fully returned all funds, as promised, and we have also paid the hack a white hat bonus of 250 ETH. The hacker made the right choice. We would like to express our gratitude to everyone in the industry for their help!
— H.E. Justin Sun 孙宇晨 (@justinsuntron) October 7, 2023
HTX Was not the Only Victim of an Exploit
The crypto and DeFi world is no stranger to hackers being extremely active in the third quarter of this year. As per the report shared by Immunefi, a blockchain security platform, there have been a total of 76 hacks on crypto and Web3 projects and firms in Q3 of this year in comparison to the third quarter of 2022. During the time HTX was exploited, the decentralized cross-chain protocol, Mixin Network, also experienced an exploit that resulted in the loss of almost $200 million. It was later revealed that the hack occurred due to the hackers breaching a third-party cloud service provider.
However, Mixin Network offered a bug bounty of a whopping $20 million to the hacker for the return of these stolen funds. The chances of the return of these funds remain slim. Following this exploit, many in the crypto space argued that the North Koran hacking group, Lazarus might have been behind the Mixin exploit. Many argue that the method of the attack was almost identical to the one that was seen a considerable number of times in the past.