Stolen Crypto Doubles to $1.38 Billion in the First Half of 2024

crypto theft

In this article I educate you on the fact that, the first half of 2024 has witnessed a significant surge in cryptocurrency thefts, with the total value of stolen digital assets reaching an astonishing $1.38 billion. This marks a dramatic increase compared to the $657 million stolen during the same period in 2023, according to a report by blockchain research firm TRM Labs.

Key Findings

Total Stolen Value: $1.38 billion worth of cryptocurrency was stolen from January 1 to June 24, 2024, which is more than double the amount stolen in the first half of 2023

Major Heists: The five largest hacks accounted for 70% of the total stolen amount in 2024. The most significant theft involved over $300 million worth of Bitcoin from the Japanese crypto exchange DMM Bitcoin.

Primary Attack Vectors: Common methods of attack included private key and seed phrase compromises, smart contract exploits, and flash loan attacks.

Possible Causes

TRM Labs suggests that the increase in theft volume might be attributed to significantly higher average token prices in the first half of 2024 compared to the same period in 2023. This higher valuation could incentivize more sophisticated and frequent attacks.

Notable Incidents

cryptocurrency thefts

DMM Bitcoin Heist: In May 2024, DMM Bitcoin, a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange, was targeted in a massive heist where over 4,500 BTC were stolen, valued at over $300 million at the time. The attack potentially involved stolen private keys or address poisoning.

Phishing Attacks: Earlier this year, phishers stole $47 million in crypto primarily through fake accounts on Elon Musk’s social media platform X. Victims were lured to phishing websites via comments made by impersonator accounts 

Recommendations for Crypto Firms

To combat the rising tide of crypto thefts, TRM Labs recommends that crypto firms adopt the following measures:

Regular Security Audits: Conduct frequent and thorough security audits to identify and mitigate vulnerabilities

Robust Encryption: Implement strong encryption protocols to protect sensitive data.

Multi-Signature Wallets: Use multi-signature wallets to enhance the security of stored funds 

Secure Coding Practices: Encourage secure coding practices among developers to prevent exploits 

Incident Response Strategy: Develop and maintain a comprehensive incident response strategy to swiftly address breaches and minimize damage 

Conclusion

The surge in cryptocurrency thefts in the first half of 2024 highlights the persistent and evolving threat landscape faced by the crypto industry. While the rising value of digital assets may be a contributing factor, it underscores the need for enhanced security measures and vigilant practices. As the market continues to grow, so too must the industry’s commitment to safeguarding digital assets from increasingly sophisticated attacks.

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