DeFi is an emerging investment space, and the world of cryptocurrencies has been expanding at breakneck speeds over recent years. However, it's not without its risks - one major risk we've faced as a community is hackers.
This article will explore the Biggest Cryptocurrency Heists recorded ever in history.
What is a Cryptocurrency Heist?
Before diving into the Top 10 Cryptocurrency Heists, we would love you to have an understanding of what a Crypto Heist is.
Cryptocurrency Heists are akin to internet theft, but they are done via the blockchain. Cryptocurrency transactions usually involve a large chunk of money and anonymity, making them very attractive to cybercriminals.
Types of Cryptocurrency Heists
Phishing: This uses email or other phishing techniques to steal login credentials for a crypto site. Like any other system, Login credential theft can provide access to a person's cryptocurrency wallet. Phishing can also be used to access a crypto-platform provider's privileged admin accounts.
Social Engineering: Scams that trick people into transferring large amounts of cryptocurrency to a fraudster's wallet.
Exchange hacks: External hacks take advantage of the flaws in the crypto-exchange platform, such as misconfiguration flaws.
51% vulnerabilities: A 51 percent or majority attack occurs when an attacker gets control of more than half of a blockchain's hashing power. Double-spends and reverse transactions are possible once a hacker has that amount of influence over the blockchain.
Cross-chain hacking: This hack uses flaws in the underlying protocols that allow crypto-currency to be exchanged between chains.
Top 10 Cryptocurrency Heists
Hackers stole around $625 million from the play-to-earn online game. Axie Infinity is built on the Ronin network. The incident was made known on March 23. Sky Mavis, the Vietnamese studio that created the app, discovered it on Tuesday morning after discovering an unusual transaction during their standard checks and alerts for any indicators of theft or fraud in the systems.
In conjunction with Binance, Sky Mavis was able to raise $150 million in a funding round. This was in a bid to help reimburse users to recover their lost funds. Animoca Brands, a16z, Dialectic, Paradigm, and Accel participated in the funding round.
On August 10th, 2021, the Poly Network, a blockchain service that allows users to exchange tokens across many blockchains, was hacked. The hackers took advantage of flaws in the global cross-chain protocol's system, gaining access to and stealing over $600 million in cryptocurrencies.
The hacker returned most of the stolen crypto in a strange twist of events. Also, Poly Network asked the hacker to become its Chief Security Advisor. They also made a promise to the hacker to reward him with a $500,000 bounty.
In January 2018, the Japan-based crypto exchange was hacked, and around $530 million in NEM coins were stolen. Coincheck stated that the hack happened due to a shortage of cybersecurity personnel during the hacking period.
As a result, two trade organizations have merged to form a new self-regulatory organization for digital currency enterprises across the country.
In early 2014, the Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange that formerly handled 80% of global transaction activity declared bankruptcy. Former CEO Mark Karpelès stated plans to produce commemorative non-fungible tokens (NFTs) with particular requirements comparable to those stolen by the hackers as a form of reparation. The value of the Bitcoin stolen was estimated to be around $450 million.
Hackers stole more than $323 million in cryptocurrencies in a recent attack on the DeFi protocol, which connects blockchain Solana with other decentralized blockchains.
According to the CEO of the Singapore-based crypto exchange, a total of $275 million in bitcoin was taken. However, he claimed that users were compensated through law enforcement and other exchanges, which recovered nearly half a billion dollars from the company's insurance policy.
By stealing a secret key that provided them access to two distinct accounts on the exchange, Bitmart hackers were able to steal $196 million in cryptocurrency in December 2021. Hackers stole $100 million in various cryptocurrencies from the Ethereum blockchain and $96 million from the Binance Smart Chain.
In what is recorded to be one of the greatest attack ever, the small Italian exchange lost 17 million Nano tokens, costing them roughly $170 million. Many consumers accused the company's creator, Francesco Firano, of stealing their funds before reporting it as theft of Cryptocurrency from the exchange.
Boy X Highspeed (BXH)
In November 2021, hackers stole $139 million from the decentralized cross-chain exchange. CEO Neo Wang believed that hackers gained access to their system through a leaked administrator key and caused considerable losses since they were able to quickly alter market prices during busy periods.
In October 2021, hackers stole $130 million in cryptocurrency assets from Cream Finance, a decentralized finance platform. By frequently taking out flash loans from multiple ethereum addresses, the hacker was able to take advantage of pricing flaws.
Read Also: Blockchain Technology Everything you need To know
Bored Ape Yacht Club Hack
About two days back, Bored Ape Yacht Club took to its Twitter page to announce a hack on its Instagram account.
🚨There is no mint going on today. It looks like BAYC Instagram was hacked. Do not mint anything, click links, or link your wallet to anything.-@BoredApeYC.
The hacker was quite intelligent. The hacker simply posted a phishing link to the hacked account and was able to get users' NFTs when they clicked on the link. The NFTs were said to have been worth millions of dollars.
It is also worth noting that most of the Crypto Heists in the Q1 of 2021 stemmed from DeFi protocols. These Heists are estimated to be worth about $1.3 billion.
JUST IN: Cybercriminals stole $1.3 billion worth of cryptocurrency in Q1 2022, with 97% stemming from DeFi protocols-@WatcherGuru
Crypto hacks and heists are one of the major bottlenecks affecting full scale adoption of Crypto. The space is still growing and we are sure still learning everyday. We believe in the coming years, we would be better at preventing these hackers from gaining access to our wallets and exchanges. Till then, we will always be on the lookout.