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Crypto Theft Explodes: Losses Double to $1.1 Billion in First Half of 2024

Last Updated July 8, 2024 3:02 PM
Lorena Nessi
Last Updated July 8, 2024 3:02 PM
By Lorena Nessi
Verified by Insha Zia
Key Takeaways
  • Record-breaking crypto losses in the first half of 2024.
  • Ethereum still reigns as the most affected blockchain.
  • 2024 sees interesting trends in crypto hacks, particularly with recovery. 

The cryptocurrency ecosystem is still fraught with bugs, ever ready to bite and sting the unprepared, especially now, as the market shakes with renewed confidence and more users than ever populate the landscape. 

Amidst the rise in the consensus, recent reports show that crypto hackers and scammers have accelerated their schemes and are achieving record numbers, with losses in the first half of the year already in the billions. 

Crypto Hacks: The Attacks in Numbers

According to CertiK’s latest report , 2024 saw upwards of $688 million in crypto losses in the second quarter of 2024, taking the year past the billion-dollar threshold to a total of $1.1 billion. 

This marks a dramatic return to the alarming trends of 2021 and 2022, with an eye-popping 86% increase in funds lost compared to the previous year’s first half. Though Q2 experienced an 18% decrease in the number of security incidents compared to Q1, the value of the assets stolen was significantly greater at 37%. 

  • Q2’s most shocking incident was the hack of Japanese exchange DMM Bitcoin in May, which resulted in a jaw-dropping loss of $304 million. 
  • Close on its heels was one of Turkey’s largest crypto exchanges, BTCTurk, which suffered an exploit and lost over $90 million.
  • Phishing victim 0x1e22 stood third, losing $68 million to a targeted attack.

Crypto Hacks: The Trends

CertiK’s latest report once again singled out Ethereum as the most impacted blockchain in terms of security incidents, with losses amounting to $172 million due to crypto theft. 

Highlighting broader industry vulnerabilities, the blockchain security firm emphasized that phishing attacks and breaches of private keys are the predominant forms of attack, collectively resulting in nearly $900 million in losses in the first half of the year.

While these staggering losses underscore the immediate need for robust security measures, the industry has also witnessed the trend of stolen funds making their way back to their rightful owners. CertiK’s report revealed that fund recovery has been slightly more effective this year, particularly in Q2, with millions recovered from exploits such as Bloom, ALEX Lab, Gala Games, and YOLO Games.

H1 Statistics and Graphics CertiK’s latest report on crypto thefts.
CertiK’s Comprehensive Analysis of Crypto Thefts.

Battling for Security in a Field of Crypto Bugs

Crypto hacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated, with hackers using more complex techniques to exploit vulnerabilities. This evolution in hacking methods necessitates heightened vigilance and proactive security measures. 

Here are some tips to safeguard your assets:

  • Use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

  • Always verify the source of communications, especially those asking for sensitive information or prompting urgent actions.

  • Store your private keys in a secure, offline environment. 

  • Keep up to date with the latest security practices and potential threats in the crypto space. 

  • Be cautious of unsolicited messages or emails that ask for personal information or prompt you to click on suspicious links.

  • Avoid keeping all your assets in a single wallet or exchange. Distributing them across multiple platforms can reduce the risk of a total loss. 

Can Regulatory Frameworks Mitigate Crypto Hacks and Scams? 

With crypto hacks on the rise, regulatory frameworks could play a crucial role in addressing these challenges, according to TRM Labs . The research firm stressed that beyond financial crime, robust security frameworks necessitate that regulators and entities meticulously track the impact of their efforts. 

TRM contends that Blockchain intelligence initially developed to fight financial crime, is expected to be adopted more widely to meet regulatory needs. By 2025, this could lead to not only clearer regulatory expectations but also deeper insights into the effectiveness of these measures.

 

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