Smooth Criminal: White Hat Hacker Returns $100,000 from ETC Attack to Gate io

Embattled cryptocurrency exchange Gate.io recently posted in praise of what it claims is an act of uncharacteristic kindness. Only a few days ago, they found “the recent ETC 51% attacker returned 100k USD value of ETC back to Gate.io. We were trying to contact the attacker but we haven’t got any reply until now. We still don’t know the reason. If the attacker didn’t run it for profit, he might be a white hacker who wanted to remind people the risks in blockchain consensus and hashing power security,” the exchange mused.

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White Hat Hacker Returns $100,000 from ETC Attack to Gate.io

It’s different, for sure. Gate.io is claiming the recent 51% attack leveled against ETC has been partially repaired with a return of a rather large sum. “Based on our analysis, the hashing power of ETC network is still not strong enough,” the exchange conceded, “and it’s still possible to rent enough hashing power to launch another 51% attack.” As such they raised security protocols, including the confirmations to 4,000. They’re also encouraging other exchanges to take similar actions especially as they feel ETC remains vulnerable.

Gate was criticized for a lack of KYC and AML procedures by some observers, while others simply chalked up the attack to hashrates and problems inherent with Proof of Work coins. One thing is beyond clear: the lack of KYC makes it virtually impossible to find such attackers, and so it makes the return either strange or admirable.

Smooth Criminal: White Hat Hacker Returns $100,000 from ETC Attack to Gate io

It’s one of the benefits of OTC exchanges like Gate.io, especially in China. Easily onboarded, easy to trade, sometimes with referrals added for incentive, they’re also ripe hunting ground for bad actors.

Still others insist the attacker(s) probably believed they could ultimately be found out, and so gave some back to throw off eventual prosecution. Whatever the case, it’s not unheard of entirely. Hackers, so called white hats, were known not that long ago to break into systems as a way to alert companies to problems they might otherwise take for granted.

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