Hacker Who Stole 20 Million Optimism (OP) Tokens Following Wintermute Wallet Error Has Returned Most of Stolen Tokens | Optimism

The striker who stole 20 million OP Tokens thanks to a Wintermute error has returned the majority of his loot, Optimism has confirmed. The striker also sent 1M OP Tokens to Vitalik Buterin and kept 2M Tokens as a reward.

The Ethereum Layer 2 Solution posted an update on Friday confirming that the attacker behind the incident has returned 17 million of the 20 million OP tokens he stole this week. On Wednesday, Optimism reported that Wintermute inadvertently lost 20 million OP tokens due to an Ethereum wallet error.

Optimism had granted the funds to the liquidity provisioning service to help market participants looking to trade the recently launched OP token on centralized exchanges. However, when Wintermute rolled out a wallet Gnosis Safe on the Ethereum mainnet without verifying that it was deployed on Optimism, a hacker managed to take control of the wallet on layer 2 and stole the funds.

On-chain data shows the attacker began sending funds back to Optimism’s multi-signature wallet in a series of transactions late Friday afternoon. He also sent 1 million tokens to Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin on Thursday, which Optimism confirmed “is being recovered.Interestingly, the attacker also left a message for Buterin in an Ethereum transaction. They wrote :

“Hello, Vitalik, I believe in you, I just want to know your opinion on this subject. BTW, help verify the return address and I’ll return the rest after you. And hello Wintermute, sorry I only have 18M and that’s what I can render. Stay optimistic!”

With 18 million tokens sent to Optimism and Buterin, that leaves the hacker with a bounty of 2 million gold. At current prices, returned funds are worth approximately $16.38 million, while the striker’s bounty is worth the equivalent of $1.82 million. According to Optimism’s announcement, Wintermute has agreed to reimburse the Layer 2 network for the 2 million OP bounty.

OP rebounded 9.8% today despite a drop in the broader market. According to data from CoinGecko, it is currently changing hands for around $0.91.

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