29 Dec 2021 Simon Briggs
Over $4 Billion Worth Of Cryptos Got Stolen In 2021
The crypto sector evolved massively from its initial form in 2009, but one major issue still persists when it comes to digital currencies – the risk of illicit entities, which would try to steal them. And despite the technological advances of crypto projects in the past couple of years, in 2021 hackers got away with $4.25 billion worth of cryptocurrencies, which is almost a three-fold increase over 2020 and its $1.49 billion stolen in crypto assets.
Furthermore, data from Comparitech shows that in 2021 hackers conducted six of the top-ten costliest attacks in crypto history.
Meanwhile, the data also suggests the DeFi sub-sector is the most vulnerable, as hacking decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols resulted in $1.4 billion of the total crypto funds stolen this year.
“This can be explained by the fact that the technology is new and still has a lot of vulnerabilities,” a report from Crystal Blockchain highlighted.
The biggest and most prominent attack in 2021 is the Poly Network hack in August 2021, which ended in $610 million stolen.
The “white hat” hacker announced that the attack was done to expose the security hole in the ‘cross chain’ smart contracts used by the company. Poly Network went down almost instantly and began working on a bugfix. The hacker then returned all of the stolen funds, while Poly Network offered the hacker a job and a reward of $500,000, which the hacker turned down.
The second-largest crypto hack in 2021 involved the BitMart crypto exchange, with hackers gaining access to two of the exchange’s hot wallets via leaked private addresses. The exchange immediately froze all deposits and withdrawals for a couple of days. It turned out most of the funds were on Ethereum’s blockchain, which is a number-one target for crypto hackers.
Another private address leakage issue managed to grant hackers access to $139 million worth of cryptos on the Binance Smart Chain. The Boy X Highspeed (BXH) trading platform stopped all operations immediately while announcing a reward of up to $10 million to identify the hackers.
Private keys may turn to be a pivotal hot topic among hackers in 2021, as yet another private key leak helped hackers steal the holding of 96 users, resulting in the theft of 9% of all available PYR tokens (4.5 million PYR), leaving a loss of $135 million.
The Vulcan Forged team and its CEO Jamie Thomson stated that they will use decentralized wallets, to prevent such issues in the future. Thomson even added a bounty of $500,000 to identify the hacker, while collaborating with large centralized exchanges to block the hackers from cashing out on their theft.
One of the DeFi leaders also got stung by hackers, as C.R.E.A.M. Finance, which is a DeFi lending platform, suffered from an exploit, which drained all liquid assets the platform owned on the Ethereum blockchain.
Shortly after the attack, the company stated that the vulnerability has been patched with the help of the community. Meanwhile, the team also allocated a compensatory mechanism to affected users.cryptocurrencies cryptocurrency news crypto news Hacks Defi Decentralized Finance Binance Smart Chain BSC