Developer Requests Hackers for Refund with a Motive for Hack Reversal.

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Hackers Requested by Victim to Refund Hacked Amount to Implement Hack Reversal.

James Levy, a developer, received 40,000 ether from the Ethereum Foundation on November 24, 2015.

The amount transferred to him was roughly worth $35,000 at that time which was awarded to Levy because of the efforts he put in creating an early smart contracting tool also to encourage work for the improvement of Ethereum.

However, three weeks later, the amount that was transferred to Levy was gone, i.e., his wallet was drained which is suspected as the most massive hack of a single wallet in the history of a separate wallet.

Levy seems to have been silent on this matter since then. However, Levy plans to fund a new venture called TapTrust by appealing to his hackers to refund the stolen amount but is failing at that. Hence, he is turning to the society to execute a system-wide software upgrade.

This upgrade would rely on EIP 867, which would standardize the process of recovering funds that is a conflict for Ethereum developers.

As co-author of EIP 867, Levy got involved in a tumultuous situation after the developers who expose concerns about the proposal- from lamenting Ethereum’s governance structure because it relates to system-wide disaster to predicting that stakeholders could conspire with such recommendations ratified.

Levy has taken a controversial step, but he feels that this step could sway the present debate.

“Particularly in light of something like a hack, it’s a critical issue for the community, and it’s one that, I think, the network and the platform of Ethereum and the community, we need to figure out,” Levy told CoinDesk in an exclusive interview.

Levy continued:

“Ultimately, I think it comes down to, are we an economic system that lives outside the rest of society and the legal system? Are we separate from that? Or, are we somehow going to interface with these things?”

The hack is assumed to have happened because of the weak passphrase. The wallet for Ethereum that was created by Vitalik Buterin had few critical flaws because of which others could access the wallet just if the passphrase is known.

Levy explained:

“I assumed that the passphrase was going to be used in addition to some other criteria.”

Later, Levy got to know that his private keys were secure and he initially found it difficult to accept that he had been a victim of a hack.

“At first I thought was due to an upgrade or something,” he said.

Garry Singh

Garry is an experienced entrepreneur, and co-founder of a UK based technology company Quickdesk Solution Ltd., with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and customer services industry. Skilled in technical writing, he is a strong business development professional with a Bachelor's Degree focused in Information Technology and Masters in Business Administration.