The hacker who targeted the famous DAO is revealed
The hacker who targeted the famous DAO is revealed
Security

The hacker who targeted the famous DAO is revealed

By Lorenzo Dalvit - 11 Feb 2020

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Matthew Leising, a Bloomberg journalist fascinated by the Ethereum story, said he came into contact with the hacker who managed to exploit Ethereum‘s smart contract code to his advantage, appropriating $55 million from the first DAO in history.

His research has resulted in a book that will soon go on sale. The author states: 

“The first time I met the ether thief was two floors above a Foot Locker in Zurich, Switzerland”.

Matthew Leising unveils his book entitled “Out of Ether” and, with great marketing skills, invites everyone to read his book to find out who is the mysterious DAO hacker.

The Decentralized Autonomous Organization, DAO, was the focus of a famous article he wrote in Bloomberg called “The Ether Thief“. 

The amazement generated is a lot: people who have worked for the foundation, such as Alex Van de Sande, are astonished and wonder if the identity has really been discovered. Others speculate that the end result will consist of navigating between fiction and reality and not revealing the true identity of the protagonist.

So far there has been a lot of talk about what happened mainly because of the fork generated after the choice to return the money to its rightful owners. 

After the DAO hack, the community was divided among those who were in favour of the code’s superiority over the human will, and those who wanted to override posthumous reason and rewrite the code.

Ethereum Classic (ETC) ended up being the loser chain, but the one where the address balances remained unchanged and the stolen money by the DAO hacker was not redistributed to its owners.

What has been described as theft, according to some was just one of the possible uses of a poorly written code which allowed the notorious hacker to take possession of as much as 55 million dollars.

The tribalism that pervades the entire industry has taken this event as a great opportunity to delegitimize the Ethereum blockchain and develop a narrative antagonistic to the competing project of the then undisputed market leader: BTC.

Without going too deep into the philosophical fabric that grew up at the centre of this virtual community, it is worth remembering that now this operation would no longer be possible. 

The network is too big. This was demonstrated by the code worm in Parity‘s multi-sig wallet that blocked one million Ether forever in 2017, many of which can be traced back to Polkadot’s ICO made possible by one of the founders of Ethereum.

If on this occasion what is described as a rollback of the chain useful to rewrite its history did not happen, it will probably be difficult to see it in the future. Or maybe not?

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Lorenzo Dalvit

Chief Operations Officer at Deepit AG

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