A total of 36 Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) and 18 Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC) non-fungible tokens (NFTs), valued at $3 million, which were pilfered from the NFT Trader platform, have been successfully recovered through a bounty payment.
The incident occurred last Saturday, December 16, when the thief demanded 120 ETH, approximately $263,000 at the time, for the safe return of the NFTs.
Boring Security, a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) and a non-profit web3 security education project funded by ApeCoin, managed the resolution process.
Boring Security shared a series of posts on X (formerly Twitter) on December 17, revealing that the attacker had communicated with the victims of the theft.
Screenshots posted included a message from the thief stating, “If you want these NFT’s back then you need to pay me 120 ETH.” Boring Security responded by sending 80 ETH to the signing address and incentivizing the return of the NFTs with awards of 3 ETH and 0.6 ETH for each BAYC and MAYC sent to specific addresses.
Eventually, the exploiter returned all 54 NFTs to Boring Security, which subsequently ensured their rightful return to the original owners.
This incident adds to the growing concerns of theft in the Web3 space, representing one of the persistent challenges within the domain.
Notably, in October, the Singapore High Court approved iSanctuary’s use of NFTs to identify hacker wallets associated with a $3 million crypto hack, improving tracking and fraud prevention in cryptocurrency transactions.
Despite ongoing incidents of theft, there are notable advancements in developing sophisticated solutions to prevent such occurrences. Governments are also taking measures to address these illicit actions; for example, China officially recognized NFT theft as a crime in a recent statement, addressing concerns over digital collectible fraud.