Optimism token was attacked earlier this week after the team announced that 20 million OP tokens were stolen. On Friday, the attacker behind the theft returned 17 million tokens. For returning the tokens, the attacker was rewarded with 2 million of the tokens. The funds were returned over the course of 17 transactions to an address belonging to Optimism, the Ethereum rollup provider.
Before the return of the tokens, the attacker sent an on-chain message to Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum co-founder, intimating him of their intention to return the full 18 million OP in their possession.
The message said, “Hello, Vitalik, I believe in you, just want to know your opinion on this. BTW, help to verify the return address, and I will return the remaining after you. And hello Wintermute, sorry, I only have 18M, and this is what I can return. Stay Optimistic!”
The attacker had previously cashed out 1 million OP and sent another 1 million to Buterin, who stated that he was working on returning the funds to Optimism. After the 17 million tokens were returned to Optimism, the attacker was still left with 1 million tokens worth close to $900,000 at the time of writing this report. Optimism, a layer two rollup chain for Ethereum, helps scale the network with its quick transactions and low fees. Optimism launched the OP governance token last month to shift towards greater community control.
The attacker was able to penetrate the network and steal the tokens that were supposed to be sent to Wintermute, a crypto market maker that partnered with Optimism during the token’s introduction. Instead of providing an optimism account to receive the tokens, Wintermute provided an Ethereum address. Before the mistake was rectified, the attacker set up their wallet at the address the token was sent.
In a statement announced two days ago, Wintermute said it would not take legal action if the attacker returned the funds within a week.
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