A hacker who stole 5,000 Ether (ETH) from Huobi Global’s cryptocurrency exchange HTX has returned the funds and received a 250 ETH bounty for doing so. The hacker had exploited a vulnerability in one of HTX’s hot wallets on September 25, causing a loss of about $8 million at the time.
HTX quickly contacted the hacker and offered a 5% bounty of the stolen funds, equivalent to around $400,000, if they returned 95% of the funds before October 2. The exchange also promised not to pursue any legal action against the hacker if they complied with the terms.
The Hacker Finally Gave HTX’s Stolen Funds Back
The hacker agreed to the deal and sent back the stolen funds on October 7. HTX confirmed the return of the funds and rewarded the hacker with 250 ETH, worth about $410,000 at current prices. The exchange also thanked the hacker for making the right choice and expressed its gratitude to the industry and community for their support.
The incident with HTX was part of a larger trend of increasing security breaches in the crypto and Web3 spaces in the third quarter of 2023. According to a report by blockchain security platform Immunefi, there were 76 reported hacks in Q3 2023, compared to 30 in Q3 2022.
Another notable project that suffered a security breach in the same week as HTX was Mixin Network, which lost around $200 million due to a third-party cloud service provider’s vulnerability. These incidents highlight the need for enhanced security measures and collaboration within the crypto and Web3 spaces, as well as the importance of community support and awareness.
The reason behind the hacker returning all the stolen funds before receiving the agreed-upon bounty remains uncertain. One plausible explanation could be that this action was taken to eliminate any potential for future legal disputes. By returning all the stolen funds, the hacker could demonstrate that they no longer possessed any of the illicitly obtained assets.
The HTX case serves as a rare example of a positive outcome from a hacking incident, where both parties reached a mutually beneficial resolution.