The hacker behind the exploit on crypto exchange HT -1.10% X (formerly Huobi) on Sept. 24 returned the approximate 5,000 ETH stolen on Saturday, according to on-chain data.
HTX advisor and Tron founder Justin Sun confirmed the recovery on X (formerly Twitter), adding that it had paid the hacker a “whitehat bonus” of 250 ETH ($400,000). “We have confirmed that the hacker has fully returned all funds, as promised, and we have also paid the hacker a whitehat bonus of 250 ETH,” Sun wrote. “The hacker made the right choice. We would like to express our gratitude to everyone in the industry for their help!”
In an on-chain message sent while returning the funds, the hacker wrote: “Received your message. White hat bonus to 0x1Fc8674A51D6b97C968BE384337519CE7003152B. Your system hot wallet private key leak, you should change system hot wallet address and reduce the system hot wallet rate.”
Responding to the hacker when sending the bonus, HTX wrote: “You have made the right choice. We have already paid the whitehat bonus to 0x1Fc8674A51D6b97C968BE384337519CE7003152B. Please submit a security vulnerability analysis report to the email [email protected] so that we can avoid similar incidents in the future. Your privacy will be protected.”
Following the hack last month, Sun confirmed HTX lost around 5,000 ETH ($8 million). "HTX has suffered a loss of 5,000 ether ... due to a hacker attack," Sun posted on X at the time. "HTX has fully covered the losses incurred from the attack and has successfully resolved all related issues."
Sun noted that the stolen amount was relatively small compared to the $3 billion in assets held by its users and equated to about two weeks of HTX’s revenue. Yet, he highlighted that HTX was prepared to offer 5% ($400,000) of the stolen amount as a reward for returning the funds.
Sun further added that the failure to return the funds within a seven-day window would have prompted the firm to approach law enforcement.
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