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Optimism hacker confirms they are whitehat, returns most of stolen funds


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Optimism hacker has confirmed they are a whitehat and asked the project developers to share a return address for the remaining tokens in their possession.

The hacker stole 20 million OP tokens from Optimism by exploiting a failed transaction involving liquidity provider Wintermute.

Wintermute CEO Evgeny Gaevoy asked the hacker to return the stolen funds if they’re whitehat within a week. He threatened to dox the hacker if they failed to return the funds.

Part of the statement reads,

We are 100% committed to returning all the funds, tracking the person(s) responsible for the exploit, fully doxxing them and delivering them to the corresponding juridical system. Remember that robbers need to get lucky every time. Cops only have to get lucky once.

However, it turned out the hacker was a whitehat after all. Before returning the funds, the hacker this morning sent one million OP tokens to Vitalik Buterin’s public wallet along with a message that said: 

Hello, Vitalik, I believe in you, just want to know your opinion on this. BTW, help to verify the return address, and I will return the remaining after you. And hello Wintermute, sorry, I only have 18M, and this is what I can return. Stay Optimistic!

Six hours after that, they started returning the 18 million in a batch of 1 million per transaction. So far, the hacker has sent 17 million OP tokens to a wallet Gaevoy claimed belongs to Optimism.

In reaction to the hacker’s decision, Gaevoy tweeted an upside-down smiley emoji. Optimism also posted that it has received the stolen crypto while revealing that Wintermute “has committed to reimbursing the Optimism Foundation.”

The hacker will be keeping the remaining 2 million OP tokens as a bounty. Optimism foundation also confirmed that it is in the process of recovering the 1 million OP sent to Vitalik Buterin.

The news of the return has had a positive influence on OP price. The token has risen by 13.2% in the last 24 hours, making it one of the biggest gainers today.

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