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Crypto Company to issue ‘millions of dollars’ in bounties for ‘white hat hackers’ after $190m heist

A $190 million crypto heist has forced crypto “bridge” service Nomad to offer millions of dollars in bounties to anyone who recovers the stolen funds, as first reported by the Washington Post.

Specifically, Nomad is announcing a payout of up to 10% for Nomad Bridge hackers, with Nomad classifying any party that returns at least 90% of the total assets they stole as “white hat”.

The company said in a Medium post that it would not take legal action against white hats.

(Photo: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
An illustrative image taken in London on May 8, 2022 shows gold-plated souvenir cryptocurrency Tether (USDT), Bitcoin and Etherium coins arranged next to a screen displaying a trading chart. – Tether (USDT) is an Ethereum token known as a stablecoin pegged to the value of the US dollar and is currently the largest stablecoin with a market value of $83 billion.BRITAIN-US-BLOCKCHAIN-CRYPTOCURRENCY-STABLECOINS- USDT TETHER

“Friends of White Hat and Ethic Researchers”

It’s worth noting that white hackers are people who examine networks for businesses, often accepting cash in return for finding vulnerabilities.

Nomad asked people who received some or all of the stolen cryptocurrency to immediately post it to a designated wallet address Twitter addressed to his “friends of white hat and ethics researchers”.

“Nomad will also identify you as a white hat to third parties who may consider legal action,” the company wrote in a Medium post.

The crypto firm also said they are “working closely with law enforcement” and will not promote criminal charges if white hats return the stolen funds.

Hackers were able to steal about $190 million worth of tokens thanks to a bug in Nomad’s programming that enabled the heist.

More than $20 million had been retrieved as of Friday morning, according to blockchain analysis site Etherscan.

Also read: Thousands of Solana users lose funds after ‘$8 million crypto heist’

Biggest cryptocurrency theft in history

Nomad takes on the role of a blockchain bridge, allowing users to transfer assets between blockchains, such as from Bitcoin to Ethereum. However, this also leaves people on either side exposed, or what security experts call bugs in both blockchains.

According to blockchain analytics firm Elliptic Connect, the Nomad breach was the eighth largest cryptocurrency theft in history and the sixth significant crypto bridge incident of 2022.

Ronin, another cryptocurrency bridge, fell victim to a $625 million heist earlier this year. In this incident, hackers gained access to the blockchain underlying the popular video game Axie Infinity and stole at least 174,000 Ethereum.

Because anyone could duplicate the original hacking code, anyone could meddle and withdraw funds, leading to the “free-for-all” nature of the Nomad attack.

According to Elliptic Connect, more than 40 “exploiters” were found, including a hacker who made just under $42 million by automating the withdrawal process.

Related article: Crypto collapse threatens North Korea’s stolen cryptocurrencies amid its nuclear tests

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Written by Joaquin Victor Tacla

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