Solidity developer Santiago Sanchez Avalos received 100 ETH after DeFi lending protocol Euler Finance was hacked for almost $200 million earlier this week.
While other victims sent messages to the blackhat begging for the return of their assets, only Avalos’ wallet received his stolen ETH back – plus change.
“[I] was lucky to receive what I lost,” Avalos told DL News.
DL News tracked down Avalos via his Ethereum address starting 0x2af. That address received 100 ETH, worth over $130,000, from the Euler Finance exploiter, on-chain data shows.
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Avalos had pleaded with the hacker to return the assets. “Please consider returning 90%/80%. I’m just a user that only had 78 wstETH as my life savings deposited into Euler, I’m not [a] whale or millionaire,” the wallet owner said in an on-chain message sent to the hacker.
“You can’t imagine the mess I’m into right now, completely destroyed. I’m pretty sure 20M is already life changing for you and you’ll bring back joy to a lot of affected people.”
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We identified an OpenSea account tied to an address which sent 24 ETH to 0x2af in December 2021. The account’s name is Santichez and the account biography reads “Sldty dv” a shortened version of “Solidity dev.”
On Twitter, a user with the handle @santichez_ also lists himself as a Solidity developer. @santichez_ Twitter leads to his Github account, where his full legal name is listed.
First, Avalos questioned our evidence before eventually admitting that he was the owner of 0x2af.
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Curiously, the Euler Finance hacker sent 100 ETH to Avalos even though he only asked for the 78 wrapped staked ETH – worth approximately 86.6 ETH – he had deposited into Euler Finance before the hack. The additional 13.4 ETH Avalos now holds count as stolen property under UK law.
“If the victim keeps the money then they could face a prosecution for theft which carries a maximum punishment of an unlimited fine or seven years imprisonment,” Simon Ellis, a director at law firm Freeths, told DL News. Ellis does not represent the companies or people involved.
Avalos said he “will transfer out any remains that don’t belong to me.”
When asked why the hacker honoured Avalos’ plea to get his stolen assets back while no one else did, and whether that raises suspicion that he is the exploiter, he denied being the blackhat.
“Seriously? No, I’m not the hacker,” Avalos said. “As I said, I believe he was probably moved by my message.”
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“Except from the Euler team, no one sent him a message written from a real user’s perspective,” Avalos said.
“I wasn’t actually looking for the return of my funds, was trying to get him to understand there were common people involved and affected.”
Avalos added, “And I’m not trying to hide either. I still have close relatives that lost more than me, hoping that at least some funds can be returned as I wrote.”
Euler declined to comment.