In what can be termed as the noblest way to expiate for the crime, a hacker has returned 100,000 U.S. dollars worth of stolen cryptocurrency to Gate.io, as reported by the company’s blog dated 12 January.
The post continued in an almost surprised tone that Gate.io had made attempts to reach out to the alleged hacker, and they did not receive a reply. Personnel at Gate.io surmised that the hacker could be ethical, wanting to highlight the loopholes of blockchain and the dominance of hashpower.
The reputed exchange further stated that a total of 271,500 U.S. dollars worth of Ethereum Classic(ETC) were stolen from its wallets during the attack. This evidently indicates that a sum of 171,500 U.S. dollars is still missing.
In a previous announcement by Gate.io, the company claimed that a sum of just 40,000 U.S. dollars had been compromised. Gate.io also promised to cover the loss of all of its users. In the same context, Gate.io confirmed that the notorious 51% attack had been executed successfully. To quantify, Gate.io cited that it had detected 7 rollback transactions and four of these were created by the perpetrator thus transferring 54,200 ETC in total.
To back the statistics, Gate.io revealed that the attack took place on 07 January for about 4 hours. The process of ETC blockchain creation was going on normally with all the transactions validated and suddenly they were rendered invalid by the rollback.
In a bid to overcome potential harm to the blockchain, Gate.io’s censor had initially blocked the attacker’s transactions and handed them over to the manual examiner. However, at the peak of 51% attack, the hacker was able to portray his transactions as valid thus subverting the power of authority.
The latest blog by Gate.io shared another alarming note:
“Based on our analysis, the hashing power of ETC network is still not strong enough and it’s still possible to rent enough hashing power to launch another 51% attack.”
To thwart such breaches in the future, Gate.io set its decision to increase the number of consensus approvals to 4000 and rolled out guidelines for a stricter 51% attack detection. It also advised large volume traders to take relevant protective approaches.
It is indeed an act of goodwill that the hacker returned a large amount, much to the relief of users and Gate.io. However, even engaging in such acts is disgusting, considering the volume of hard earned money involved. This incident indicates sharply the need for cryptocurrencies to mature to the highest level of security.