Kronos Research Offers 10% Bounty Following $26 Million Hack

After being robbed of $26 million in crypto earlier this month, trading firm Kronos Research is reaching out to their hacker to negotiate.

The company has offered to drop all legal charges if the hacker returns 90% of the stolen funds, leaving him ~$2.5 million to keep.

Kronos made its offer through an Ethereum transaction message to the hacker’s blockchain address on Monday – a common method for directly negotiating with anonymous crypto thieves.

“We acknowledge the complexity of the situation and are prepared to negotiate a resolution,” wrote Kronos. “We propose a 10% bounty of any funds stolen, with the remaining 90% to be returned, in which case we will not pursue this further.”

The firm added that its offer will only remain valid until Thursday, November 30 at 08:00 UTC.

Kronos initially reported the hack on November 18, claiming that an unauthorized entity had gained access to its API keys. Trading and withdrawals have resumed since, and the company assured followers that its losses were “not a significant portion” of its equity and could be covered internally.

Later research from blockchain investigators at Lookonchain found that most of the losses ($24.57 million) were lost in Tether USD (USDT), alongside another ~$959,000 in Ether (ETH), and ~$125,000 in USD Coin (USDC).

The Beauty of Bounties

The loot, while substantial, is hardly unordinary in crypto.

Less than a week prior, on-chain sleuth ZachXBT reported a $27 million USDT hack from an unidentified crypto wallet, after which the hacker used common methods to obscure his trail of stolen funds on the blockchain.

In another major hack this month, Justin Sun-owned crypto exchange Poloniex lost $125 million across over 175 different assets including BTC, ETH, stablecoins, and various memecoins. Another of the billionaire’s exchanges, HTX, was hacked for $8 million in September.

In both cases, the exchanges offered whitehat bonuses similar to Kronos, proposing to let the hackers keep 5% of their loot. The HTX hacker has already accepted and returned most of the money, with Sun now planning an “epic airdrop” for victims at both exchanges.

Kyber Network – a cross chain DEX protocol hacked for over $46 million last week – also recovered $4.7 million on Monday through whitehat bounty negotiations.

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