April 19, 2024
French Court Clears Platypus Finance Hackers of Charges Following Acquittal
Altcoins News

French Court Clears Platypus Finance Hackers of Charges Following Acquittal

In a recent development, a French court has acquitted the individuals responsible for the Platypus Finance hack that occurred in February 2023, resulting in an $8.5 million loss for the Avalanche stablecoin project. The court ruled that the hackers’ utilization of a flawed smart contract on the protocol did not meet the criteria for fraud.

Platypus Finance Hackers Granted Acquittal by French Court

The hackers implicated in the February 2023 breach of Platypus Finance, an Automated Market Maker (AMM) protocol on Avalanche, have been absolved of criminal charges by a French court. Identified as Mohammed and Benamar M, the perpetrators were arrested shortly after the hack, thanks to information provided by crypto investigators ZachXBT and Binance. Platypus Finance initially reported the arrests on X, acknowledging the assistance from @binance and @zachxbtin in tracing the suspects’ identities.

Charges and Arrest Details

Authorities charged 22-year-old Mohammed with various offenses related to the attack, while his brother Benamar M faced charges of receiving stolen goods. The prosecution sought a five-year prison sentence for Mohammed, who, along with his brother, stole nearly $8.5 million during the hack.

Defense Argument and Outcome

Despite the substantial charges, the defendants were acquitted after Mohammed asserted that he was an ethical hacker aiming to return the funds and receive a 10% bonus. Mohammed mistakenly locked millions of dollars of the stolen funds during the attack, managing to recover only around $270,000. The judges noted that Mohammed accessed a publicly available smart contract, leading them to conclude that charges related to unauthorized computer system access did not apply. Additionally, the court deemed Mohammed’s use of Platypus’s “emergency withdrawal” smart contract as not constituting fraud.

Dropped Charges and Warning

With fraud charges no longer applicable, the court dropped charges related to money laundering and receiving stolen goods. However, the judges cautioned the brothers that Platypus Finance could pursue them in civil court. While criminal charges were dismissed, the decision was emphasized not to be a “carte blanche.”

Platypus Finance’s Recovery Efforts

Following the hack, Platypus Finance, with the assistance of blockchain security firm BlockSec, managed to recover $2.4 million in USDC. The hacker, on the other hand, could only cash out $270,000, with $8.5 million frozen in the transferred contract. BlockSec’s co-founder, Yajin Zhou, explained how they exploited a loophole in the attacker’s smart contract to recover some of the stolen funds through a callback function.

Image by Freepik

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