Cryptocurrency hacker won’t serve time after judge buys “ethical hacker” claim

Cryptocurrency hacker won't serve time after judge buys "ethical hacker" claim

A French hacker gambles on a unique defense and wins

A man only identified as Mohammed M. and his brother were vindicated of all criminal charges, while €7.8 million (US$8.4 million) worth of crypto tokens became untouchable after getting stuck in a wallet. A French court has permitted the two brothers, guilty of stealing $8.5 million from the Platypus decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol, to go free with no penalties.

Hackers breached the protocol on February 16 and managed to siphon and transfer $8.5 million from Platypus using a flash loan attack, causing the platform to suspend trading services until it found a resolution. The initial investigation pinpointed the offender as Mohammed M., who used the benefit of a coding error to withdraw all funds via an uncollateralized loan.

Binance’s security team and separate crypto investigators were able to track the stolen funds, eventually directing them to the hackers, Mohammed and his brother Benamar M.

The two had been in custody since February 24 and confessed to stealing and draining the funds in a court hearing on October 26. However, they proclaimed they were “ethical hackers,” telling the Paris judicial court they had planned to return the funds in exchange for 10%.

Considering its resemblance to a bug bounty attempt, the judge exonerated the brothers of all criminal charges. During the breach, €7.8 million in crypto tokens became stuck in a wallet and were inaccessible.

Blockchain security company CertiK’s investigation demonstrated that the October 12 hack was conducted in three parts, with each phase draining $2.23 million, $575,000 and $450,000, respectively, in assorted cryptocurrencies.

After an October 17 agreement with the hackers, Platypus recovered 90% of the stolen crypto.

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