If a hacker was able to steal coins from a major Monero exchange or large owner would Monero developers be able to do anything to recover the stolen funds (assuming they wanted to try)?

Is it possible to revert transactions from a hacker without unmasking the privacy of other Monero users? For the purposes of this question assume that other non related transaction activity occurred on the Monero blockchain after the hack occurred but before it was discovered.

You can ignore the secondary question of whether or not Monero miners would approve a hard fork that would destroy the immutability of the Monero blockchain. This is not meant to be a governance question (or a comparison to the DAO hack) but a technical one.

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    Monero will not hard fork on its own when funds are stolen. The users must coordinate the rollback. It won't happen. – JohnHanks Jul 27 '16 at 15:41

Due to the nature of mixins in the ring signatures you cannot be 100% sure that uninvolved transactions would not be affected in such event, the blockchain as a whole could be rolled-back for a single incident but it is unlikely to ever happen since no entity holds this kind of power over the Monero blockchain.


If you knew the exact transaction ID, and you got most of the network to implement an emergency hard fork, you could roll back to the block before that transaction and then blacklist that particular transaction ID. You would probably not affect too much by doing this, assuming it was done quickly enough (like within a couple of hours). I doubt that this sort of thing would ever fly, as it would require rapid cooperation on such a massive scale, and goes against everything Monero stands for.

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    This seems about right, but only if it's done REALLY fast. Chances are that transaction's outputs will very quickly be used as fake outputs for other transactions (and, probably, also as real ones as the transaction recipient moves the coins elsewhere). At that point, if you were to blacklist that transaction id, you would also invalidate all other transactions that used an output from that transaction you're trying to undo. And, cascading, those using those second level transactions, etc. – user36303 Jul 25 '16 at 13:15

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