03 Jan High profile hacking attacks in the crypto industry.
The crypto world is on edge after a string of high-profile hacks
The crypto world has been on edge recently after a string of high-profile hacks. These attacks have resulted in the loss of millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency, shaking the confidence of investors and highlighting the need for improved security measures in the industry, more specifically for crypto exchanges.
In recent months some notable hacks occurred, such as when the KuCoin exchange was targeted by attackers. KuCoin is a crypto exchange headquartered in Seychelles that allows users to trade a wide range of digital assets. The attack resulted in the loss of tens of millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency, making it one of the largest hacks in the industry’s history.
Other high-profile hacks on cryptocurrency exchanges and individual investors follow:
Professional attack on NiceHash
NiceHash, which is based in Slovenia, had $64 million stolen. The web-platform enables users to buy and sell processing power to mine Bitcoin. A malicious attacker stole around 4,700 bitcoins when the price per unit was circa $20,000. NiceHash, which was launched back in 2014, referred to the security breach as a “highly skilled and organised attack that was carried out with sophisticated social engineering”.
$28 million stolen as Bitpoint exchange is hacked
A few months back crypto exchange Bitpoint revealed that more than 50 thousand users fell victim to a $27.9 million hack – out of which $19 million belonged to customers. In the attack hot wallets of customers were attacked. In addition the hacker/s also used Bitpoint’s software to steal $2.3 million more from overseas exchanges.
$18 million lost at Bittrex
After a recent hack Bittrex decided to delist Bitcoin Gold, commonly known as BTG, from its platform after the hack. In a string of hacking attacks on the USA-based exchange over $18 million in funds were lost from the exchange. In 2018 hackers took control of more than 51% of the overall hash power of BTG (upwards from 288,000 BTG).
The team of hackers conducting the attack used a tactic called “double spending” whereby the exchange is deceived to transfer double the amount of coins actually needed. Rumours have it, that Bittrex reportedly requested more than 12,000 BTG as compensation from Bitcoin Gold.
$460 million stolen from Mt. Gox
In 2013, Mt. Gox was a leading crypto exchange with around 70% of the worldwide Bitcoin exchanges happening on its platform. Mt. Gox was first attacked in 2011 when 80,000 BTC were stolen. But, the most significant attack occurred in a span of years between 2011 and 2014 where 850,000 Bitcoins were stolen from the exchange with 750,000 Bitcoins being owned by users (the rest were owned by the Exchange itself). The value of the latter was approximately $460 million.
Cryptocurrency hacks have increased as the adoption of such digital currencies and assets increased. These attacks have not only resulted in significant financial losses, but they have also raised concerns about the security of the cryptocurrency industry as a whole. Many experts believe that these attacks could have been prevented with better security measures, such as multi-factor authentication and secure storage solutions.
One of the main challenges facing the crypto world is the lack of regulation. Unlike traditional financial institutions such as banks and e-money institutions, which are subject to strict regulations, the crypto industry is largely unregulated or has lax regulatory frameworks. This lack of oversight allows hackers to operate with relative impunity, making it easier for them to target exchanges and individual investors.
Another issue is the decentralised nature of cryptocurrency. Because cryptocurrencies are not controlled by any central authority, it can be difficult to track and recover stolen funds. This lack of central control also makes it difficult to hold anyone accountable for the losses suffered by investors.
In order to address these challenges, many in the crypto community are calling for increased regulation and better security measures. Some have suggested the creation of a self-regulatory organisation, similar to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the traditional financial world. This organisation could be responsible for setting standards for security and enforcing them across the industry.
In addition to regulatory measures, there are also a number of steps that individual investors can take to protect themselves from attacks. These include using secure storage solutions, such as hardware wallets, and enabling multi-factor authentication on their accounts. It’s also important to be cautious when it comes to sharing personal information and to be wary of scams and phishing attempts.
Despite the recent string of high-profile hacks, it’s important to remember that the crypto world is still in its infancy. As the industry matures, it’s likely that security measures will improve and the risks associated with investing in cryptocurrencies will decrease. Until then, it’s important for investors to remain vigilant and to take steps to protect themselves from potential attacks.
A word of advice
With hackers terrorising the crypto space for years, stealing crypto currencies from online wallets and raiding exchanges, it is recommended to use reputable crypto exchanges, use proper software and apps that provide multi-factor authentication and/or IP address tracking.
Engage us to improve your cyber security. Speak to us today to learn more.