Munchables developer returns $62.8 million in stolen Ether

A hacker responsible for the theft of $62.8 million worth of Ether from the Ethereum-based nonfungible token (NFT) game, Munchables, returned the stolen assets nearly eight hours after the exploit.

The hacker, later identified as a Munchables developer, did not demand any ransom for the return of the funds.

The hack occurred on March 26 at 9:30 pm UTC and led to the loss of over 17,400 ETH from the GameFi application. Munchables, together with blockchain security firms PeckShield and ZachXBT, quickly kicked off joint efforts to track the stolen funds in hopes of retrieval.

Investigations revealed that the breach was linked to a developer known by the alias “Werewolves0943,” who was reportedly hired by the Munchables team and is believed to be from North Korea. This discovery was made after closely monitoring the flow of the stolen assets on the blockchain.

On March 27, at 4:40 am UTC, Munchables disclosed that the perpetrator was, in fact, one of its own developers. Following an hour of negotiations, the developer agreed to return the hacked funds. According to Munchables’ official statement, the developer handed over all private keys associated with the stolen funds, which included “$62,535,441.24 USD, the key which holds 73 WETH, and the owner key containing the rest of the funds.”

Pacman, the creator of the Ethereum Layer-2 blockchain Blast, on which Munchables is built, thanked ZachXBT warmly for their pivotal role in the recovery process. He confirmed that the ex-Munchables developer had decided to return all funds without any demands. Pacman has teamed up with the Munchables crew to make sure the funds get back to the right people.