Poloniex hacker laundered over 60% of stolen funds in just one week

A hacker behind Poloniex, despite being allegedly identified, successfully laundered more than half of stolen funds via Tornado Cash.

A hacker, who attacked Poloniex in late 2023 and was later allegedly identified, laundered over $66 million out of $100 million stolen from the exchange through a sanctioned mixing protocol Tornado Cash.

According to data from blockchain intelligence firm PeckShield, the most recent transaction included over 4,400 ETH (worth ~$12.8 million) sent to Tornado Cash, bringing the total value of laundered funds to 22,200 ETH (worth ~$66.3 million).

In mid-November 2023, shortly after Poloniex suffered the attack, the team behind the project reached out to the bad actor, claiming “we have already confirmed your identity.” The exchange also offered the hacker a $10 million bounty for the return of funds, threatening to involve police “from multiple countries” should the hacker choose not to cooperate.

Despite Poloniex’s warnings that the stolen funds would be frozen, the hacker managed to launder over half of the stolen funds in just one week in early May. There have been no public indications that the exchange has made progress in freezing the funds thus far.

As crypto.news earlier reported, Poloniex’s listing data shows signs of a partially abandoned platform, with over 500 trading pairs showing no trading volume. According to data seen by crypto.news, approximately 53% of all listed pairs on the exchange had negligible or zero daily trading activity as of May 13.

Trading pairs on Poloniex with $0 trading activity | Source: Poloniex

In a commentary to crypto.news, a Poloniex spokesperson said that “price may be one of the reasons,” adding that “asset prices fluctuate often, leading to price differences.” However, it remains unclear why so many trading pairs on the exchange showed no daily trading activity whatsoever.

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