Blockchain hacks reached a total of $3.8 billion last year

Blockchain hacks reached a total of $3.8 billion last year

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As Bitcoin reaches new all-time highs, bringing floods of new investors into the cryptocurrency space, the number and value of hacks on the blockchain are increasing commensurately.  

The blockchain security company Slowmist reported a total of 122 hacking attacks for the year 2020. These attacks netted nearly $3.8 billion and could be said to be extremely detrimental for the cryptocurrency space as a whole. 

Three different blockchain sectors were the main ones to be affected: 

  • Dapps (Decentralised Apps) running on the Ethereum blockchain suffered 47 attacks and combined losses of $437 million. Here, the up-and-coming decentralised insurance provider Cover experienced a breach in a contract vulnerability and lost a total of $30 million. Warp Finance was another DeFi project to be affected when it suffered a flash loan attack which caused losses of $7.7 million. 
  • Cryptocurrency exchanges were subject to 28 attacks which amounted to a total of $300 million. A huge and fairly recent attack was made on the Kucoin exchange. Large withdrawals of Bitcoin and various altcoins from hot wallets were made after the hot wallet private keys were compromised. Also, a major security breach took place at EXMO, a British exchange. $4 million in funds were transferred out and then withdrawn from Poloniex. Overall, $10.5 million were stolen from a EXMO hot wallet. 
  • Blockchain wallets suffered the worst with losses of around $3 billion. Even Ledger, thought to be one of the most secure hardware wallets out there, was hacked through a phishing attack. Phishing emails directed users to a fake Ledger website where they were tricked into downloading malware dressed up as a security update. 1,150,00 XRP tokens were lost. Their value at the time totalled around $280,000. Wirecard lost $2.13 billion in an unknown hack which accounted for 25% of funds on the company's entire balance sheet. 

Blockchains themselves also suffered hacks, with Aeternity losing 39 million of its tokens in a 51% attack, Chainlink taking a hit of 700 ETH through spam attacks, and Ethereum Classic losing $1,680,000 through another 51% attack. 

Even though the combined blockchain hacks for 2020 were very substantial, the actual total of attacks has decreased from the 133 attempts that were reported in 2019, where 31 attacks occurred in the month of January alone. 

Slowmist constantly monitors the internet  

Slowmist is a blockchain security company that monitors the blockchain for abnormalities. It gathers threat intelligence from many partners in its ecosystem, which provides a much needed and appreciated service. 

Many of their partners supply bug bounties, which encourages the Slowmist community to scour these platforms looking for vulnerabilities. 

Slowmist’s community of ‘Zone partners’ are among some of the biggest crypto/blockchain companies in the space, with the likes of Binance, Okex, AWS, Bybit, and EOSIO in their ranks. 

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice. 

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