Hack me if you can – Unfortunately, not a year goes by in the cryptosphere without some spectacular hacking. Whether it’s the good old crypto stock market hacks or the most recent DeFi hack exploits, the year 2020 has been rather a bad year as we will 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 quotation of cryptos as of this January 12 (it takes into account the recent Bitcoin pump).
The only „good news“ is that, for the first time in 5 years, the number of attacks would have decreased compared to the previous year. We had notably gone from 84 cyber attacks in 2018, to 133 in 2013.
Number of hackings linked to the universe of blockhains, per year – Source: hacked.slowmist.io
Cryptographic exchanges are not the biggest hackers
In detail, it can be seen that hacks of cryptos exchange platforms only represent just over $300 million, despite 28 attacks recorded.
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). Six more can be counted on the DApps of the Tron (TRX) and EOS blockchains (3 each).
Including only the Ethereum DApps, this represents over $436 million in misappropriated cryptos.
The world of cryptos is highly sensitive to cyber attacks. More than 3.8 billion dollars of cryptos were stolen in 2020.
Total value (in dollars) of cryptos stolen in 2020, by type of target – Source: hacked.slowmist.io
In terms of value stolen, the most lucrative targets were the scams and direct thefts of wallet blockbusters: a little over $3 billion! In only 27 attacks what’s more.
The „51%“ type attacks aiming to take control of the production of the transaction blocks of a blockchain, on the other hand, did not yield much, compared to other cyber attacks: 5.91 million dollars. One will remember in particular Ethereum Classic (ETC), which had several attacks of the 51% in the course of 2021.
Even if security is being reinforced and the sector is becoming more and more professional, the cryptosphere is still not at the top of its game 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 well end up being set.