Hack me if you can – Unfortunately, not a year goes by in the cryptosphere without some spectacular hacking. Whether it’s good old crypto stock market hacks or the most recent DeFi crack exploits, the year 2020 has been rather a bad year as we’ll see.
At least 122 attacks recorded in 1 year
The virtual private network provider AtlasVPN recently published a report that takes stock of the cyber attacks on the cryptosphere over the past year, and it’s not a pretty picture.
A total of $3.78 billion worth of crypto-assets were stolen in 2020 in 122 different attacks. Be careful, however, this estimate has been evaluated with the cryptos quoted as of this January 12 (so it takes into account the recent Bitcoin pump).
Only « good news », for the first time in 5 years, the number of attacks would have decreased compared to the previous year. In particular, we had gone from 84 cyber attacks in 2018 to 133 in 2013.
The crypto stock exchanges don’t represent the biggest heists…
In detail, it can be seen that hacks of cryptos exchange platforms represent only a little more than 300 million dollars, despite 28 identified attacks.
It must be said that security has been significantly strengthened there, following previous attacks with resounding effects for these crypto exchanges. Moreover, thanks to their cooperation with each other and countermeasures, platforms such as KuCoin have been able to recover a large part of the funds initially stolen.
Conversely, a new phenomenon of misappropriation of crypto-assets has emerged this year 2020, with the advent of decentralised finance (the famous DeFi).
Thus, no less than 47 attacks or exploits of loopholes in smart contracts have been identified on decentralised applications (DApps) of the Ethereum blockchain (ETH). We can also count 6 more on the DApps of the Tron (TRX) and EOS blockchains (3 for each).
Including only the Ethereum DApps, this represents over $436 million in misappropriated cryptos.
In terms of stolen value, blockchain wallet scams and direct thefts were the most lucrative targets: a little over 3 billion dollars! In only 27 attacks, what’s more.
The « 51% » type of attacks aimed at taking control of the production of the transaction blocks of a blockchain, on the other hand, did not yield much in comparison with other cyber attacks: 5.91 million dollars. One will remember in particular Ethereum Classic (ETC), which was the target of several attacks of the 51% during 2021.
Even if security is being strengthened and the sector is becoming more and more professional, the cryptosphere is still not in the limelight in terms of cyber attacks. Let’s hope that, with the massive arrival of institutional investors, the services offered to them are really flawless, otherwise new records in this sad category could end up being set.