A hacker recently returned $100,000 to the Gate.io exchange. The hacker allegedly gained control of the funds as part of last week’s ethereum classic (ETC) 51% attack.
The recent ETC 51% hacker has returned $100k worth of ETC back to https://t.co/8kWqgDWNXb on the 10th of January. We have raised the ETC confirmation number to 4000 and launched a strict 51% detection for enhanced protection.
— Gate.io Exchange (@gate_io) January 12, 2019
Gate.io reached out to the individual, looking to find reasoning behind the situation. Motives for the event, however, still remain under speculation. The report mentioned the hacker could simply have partaken in the hack to expose security uncertainties regarding hash power and blockchain consensus.
Under this reasoning, the hacker would fit the bill for Techopedia’s definition of a white hat hacker.
A white hat hacker is a computer security specialist who breaks into protected systems and networks to test and asses their security. White hat hackers use their skills to improve security by exposing vulnerabilities before malicious hackers (known as black hat hackers) can detect and exploit them.”
Gate.io also explained further 51% attacks on ETC are still possible given the current situation. “Gate.io has raised the ETC confirmation number to 4000 and launched a strict 51% detect for enhanced protection,” the exchange stated in its report.
Referencing Gate.io Exchange’s blog post from January 9, a Finance Magnates report mentioned the ETC attack resulted in $271,500 stolen specifically from Gate.io Exchange wallets via ETC. According to these numbers from Gate.io, $171,500 in ETC might still be unaccounted for.
A recent article from Finder revealed the total number of funds stolen from the whole ETC ordeal could be upwards of $1.1 million in ETC.
Finder also mentioned strange ETC block reward activity over the past day or so with skyrocketing transaction fees. According to yesterday afternoon’s TrustNodes article, “ETC miners are now receiving as much as 200 per block […] rather than the usual 4 ETC per block.”
Referencing mining pool irregularities, transaction fees and other activities, Finder posed an interesting theory on the situation.
“This is just a hypothetical theory, not an accusation, but it looks like the ETC stolen in the 51% attack is being laundered through elevated transaction fees and the 2miners pool,” Finder posited in the article. The mentioned article also explained much further detail behind the theory.
A tweet yesterday also showed abnormal transaction levels regarding ETC.
— Classic is Coming –oppose-dao-fork (@ClassicIsComing) January 14, 2019
Today saw ETC increase in price, from $4.24 to $4.25, via CoinMarketCap data at the time of writing. Although bitcoin also rose notably in price today, up by almost $200.