June 9, 2024
Latest Cryptocurrency News

Cryptocurrency Hacks Rise as Attack Methods Evolve

Cryptocurrency hacks are on track for a record year in 2024, potentially surpassing their 2023 achievements. In the first quarter alone, hackers stole digital assets worth $542.7 million, marking a 42% increase compared to the same period last year.

Mriganka Pattnaik, co-founder and CEO of Merkle Science, attributes this surge to hackers continually shifting their attack strategies.

“While smart contract vulnerabilities remain a concern, hackers increasingly target areas outside smart contracts, like private key leaks.”

Statement from Mriganka Pattnaik
Crypto total losses by vulnerabilities. Source: Merkle Science

Cryptocurrency Hacks: Evolving Attack Methods

Private key leaks have become a major issue, often resulting from phishing attacks or insecure storage practices. These methods have led to significant losses. Phishing attacks aim to steal sensitive information, such as crypto wallet private keys. Address poisoning scams trick investors into sending funds to fraudulent addresses resembling those they’ve previously interacted with.

In May, a high-profile phishing attack saw a trader lose $71 million worth of crypto. The attacker later returned the funds after the incident drew attention from blockchain investigators and the thief’s location was identified.

Smart contract vulnerabilities, once a primary target, saw a dramatic decrease. Merkle Science’s 2024 HackHub report noted that losses from these vulnerabilities fell 92% to $179 million in 2023, down from $2.6 billion in 2022. Pattnaik cited advanced security tools and hackers targeting easier exploits as reasons for this decline.

Impact of Rising Cryptocurrency Values

The rising value of cryptocurrencies is another factor driving the increase in hacks. According to CoinMarketCap, the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies has risen by 54% year-to-date. This appreciation not only increases the potential bounty for exploiters but also attracts more hackers to the space.

Total crypto market capitalization. Source: CoinMarketCap

Additionally, PeckShield reported a staggering $574 million lost across 30 cryptocurrency hacks in May 2024. This marks a 666% increase from the previous month.

“The surge in crypto asset values creates a tempting target for hackers, as successful exploits can net them significantly more stolen funds than the previous year.”

Statement from Mriganka Pattnaik
Crypto hacks in May 2024. Source: PeckShield

Image by freepik

Disclosure Statement: Miami Crypto does not take any external funding, or support to bring crypto news to the readers. We do not have any conflicts of interest while writing news stories on Miami Crypto.

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