A decentralized lending platform that lost $80m to hackers has offered them an astonishing multimillion-dollar bug bounty in return for the stolen funds.
Qubit Finance revealed at the end of last week that an attacker had exploited a vulnerability in its QBridge deposit function.
In doing so, they managed to get away with a large amount of Ethereum, which they converted to Binance coins with a value of tens of millions of dollars. In effect, they were able to exploit a mistake in Qubit Finance’s code to withdraw Binance tokens without depositing any Ethereum.
The firm pleaded with its attacker to return the funds, addressing them on Twitter as “dear exploiter.”
“We propose you to negotiate directly with us before taking any further action,” it wrote on Friday. “The exploit and loss of funds have a profound effect on thousands of real people. If the maximum bounty is now what you are looking for, we are open to have a conversation. Let’s figure out a solution.”
A follow-up note confirmed the firm would offer a “maximum” bug bounty and not seek to press charges if the attacker returned the funds.
Subsequent messages over the weekend then increased this ‘maximum’ bounty to $1m and then on Sunday to $2m.
It’s unclear whether the tactic was merely intended to buy investigators ADDITIONAL time or if the firm was genuinely prepared to hand over a considerable bug bounty to a cyber-criminal.
A new post issued hours ago revealed the firm is working on a new site that will enable affected users to access their digital wallets to file reports with local police. However, they have little hope of getting their money back unless the cyber-thieves decide to cooperate with Qubit Finance.
A report from Chainalysis last week claimed that decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols were attacked most last year, losing over $2bn.