Hacker Behind $197M Euler Finance Exploit Starts Returning Funds

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The hack­er behind the attack on decen­tral­ized finance (DeFi) pro­to­col Euler Finance has start­ed return­ing the $197 mil­lion stolen from the lend­ing and bor­row­ing plat­form ear­li­er this week. The stolen assets com­prise $8.7 mil­lion in DAI, $18.5 mil­lion in Wrapped Bit­coin (WBTC), $135.8 mil­lion in Staked Ethereum (stETH), and $33.8 mil­lion in USDC stablecoin. 

So far, the attack­er has returned 3000 ether (ETH) worth around $5.4 mil­lion to the pro­to­col. Accord­ing to blockchain secu­ri­ty com­pa­ny Block­Sec, which detect­ed the trans­ac­tion, the funds were returned to the Euler Finance deployer’s address in three batches. 

On-chain data shows that the exploiter still holds most of the cryp­to assets in his wal­let. The marked address shows a bal­ance of 81,951 ETH val­ued at around $148 mil­lion and $43 000 in DAI stablecoin.

Euler Offers $1 Million Bounty to Locate Hacker 

While it is unclear whether the hack­er will return the remain­ing funds, the pro­to­col had ear­li­er opened on-chain com­mu­ni­ca­tion with the cyber­crim­i­nal in hopes that he would return the loot. How­ev­er, the hack­er was unre­spon­sive and showed no inter­est in the proposal. 

The DeFi pro­to­col also demand­ed that the attack­er returns 90% of the stolen assets with­in 24 hours to avoid jail time, or it would issue a bug boun­ty to track him down. 

On March 15, the pro­to­col launched a $1 mil­lion boun­ty reward to any­one with infor­ma­tion on the attack­er. The funds will be used to reward any­one who can pro­vide Euler infor­ma­tion to help locate the hacker. 

Hacker Returns 100 Ether Back to Victim

Despite being hunt­ed, the exploiter moved part of the stolen funds to the pop­u­lar cryp­to mix­er Tor­na­do Cash, sanc­tioned last year by the U.S. Depart­ment of the Treasury’s Office of For­eign Assets Con­trol (OFAC) for aid­ing mon­ey laun­der­ing activities. 

The hack­er trans­ferred 100 ETH worth $1.6 mil­lion to Tor­na­do a few days after the attack, rep­re­sent­ing the largest DeFi ecosys­tem exploit since the start of the year. 

Short­ly after mov­ing the funds to the mix­er, the thief also sent 100 ETH to one of the vic­tims of the hack after the unnamed vic­tim sent an on-chain mes­sage to the hack­er plead­ing to return part of the stolen funds. 

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