Cyber criminals have stolen 1 billion dollars worth crypto in last 3 months

There are more and more cryptocurrency enthusiasts in the world, increasing the number of potential victims for hackers of virtual assets and blockchain technology. According to Atlas VPN researchers, losses from cryptocurrency hacking incidents passed one billion dollars during the last three months alone, demonstrating the advanced capabilities of cybercriminal groups.

Ethereum users appear to have become the main victims of these hacking groups, recording a total of 20 attack incidents equivalent to some $800 million USD in losses. In this set of incidents, the attack on Poly Network stands out, in which a threat actor managed to steal more than $600 million USD; while the attacker returned most of the stolen assets, this incident demonstrated the presence of a critical vulnerability in the source code of this blockchain implementation.

Another frequent victim of hackers is cryptocurrency exchange platforms, which recorded five high-profile incidents that resulted in losses of more than $114 million USD. An example of these attacks is the one that occurred on Liquid, a Japanese platform that suffered the compromise of dozens of wallets connected to the Internet, also known as “hot wallets”.

Binance is another frequent target of threat actors, recording a total of 7 hacking incidents for over $23 million USD in losses. Other exchange platforms, such as DeFi, recorded minor losses in similar incidents.

In addition to high-profile attacks, hacking incidents against emerging blockchain infrastructure and popular scams such as phishing, social engineering and other fraudulent tactics. One example is the Bitconnect fraud, a kind of Ponzi scheme with which traders obtained more than $2 billion USD from thousands of investors through a network of promoters.

The researchers also note that between January and September 2021, more blockchain-related security incidents were recorded than in the past three years. In addition, some of the high-profile attacks have occurred over the past couple of weeks, so the figures at the end of 2021 will be even less optimistic.

The use of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology is something relatively new, so reports of vulnerabilities and security incidents are unlikely to decrease in the coming months. Still, the cybersecurity community is expected to take the necessary steps to mitigate these risks eventually.

To learn more about information security risks, malware variants, vulnerabilities and information technologies, feel free to access the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) websites.