Hacker Returns $17M in Ether Months after Theft
Last year in July, Coindash- an Israeli cryptocurrency trading platform- was preparing to launch its initial coin offering (ICO), but in the earliest stages of the sale, a hacker seized the company’s website and stole more than 43,000 ether tokens. When the hack took place, the stolen ether was valued to be around US $ 7.4 million, but today it would be approximately US $ 37 million.
The hack took place when CoinDash’s website was breached, having its official Ethereum address replaced with a fraudulent Ethereum address. The investors then sent ETH to the fake Ethereum wallet rather than CoinDash’s official wallet.
However, the hacker seemed to have had a change of heart. Almost a year after the hack occured, $ 17 million of the stolen Ethereum were returned.
The hacked ether was returned in two tranches. The first one was sent in September last year, the hacker returning 10,000 Ethereum ($8.7 million) to Coindash, and just last Friday he returned another 20,000 Ethereum ($17 million).
Not all funds have been given back though, the hacker currently still owning 13,000 Ethereum ($11 million) from the initial 43,000 ETH ($37 million) that were hacked form the coin offering.
The company confirmed the return of the crypto tokens in an official blog post published on February 23rd, and claims that it has already notified the authorities including the Counter Cyber Terrorist Unit in Israel. The hacker’s address is still being tracked and monitored in case of any suspicious activity.
“Similar to the hack itself, the hacker’s actions will not prevent us from the realizing our vision, CoinDash product launch will take place next week as originally intended,” said CoinDash CEO Alon Muroch.
This incident has sparked many theories in the world of cryptocurrency. Some believe the hack was an inside job, and that the alleged hacker conveniently returned the ether after SEC began its intense investigation on ICO scams, and after a Bitcoin exchange admin was sentenced by US authorities for lying about the details of a hack.
Others believe that it was a publicity stunt meant to draw attention to the company’s upcoming product launch.
Whether these speculation are true or not, one thing is for certain- the ether is back in Coindash’s wallet.