In 2020, there were cyberattacks on five major digital exchanges. Four attacks resulted in the theft of the digital currency, while one customer data was stolen. A total of $ 286,933,760 worth of digital money and 200 customer data were stolen.
The amount of hacks in 2020 (5) is 58% lower than the number of hacks in 2019 (12), and the amount of money stolen in 2020 ($ 286,933,760) is about 2% less than the total. The amount of money stolen from digital money exchanges in 2019 was 292,665,886 dollars.
So why were fewer digital currency exchanges hacked in 2020? There are various reasons for this, crypto exchanges are no longer the primary target for attackers. Today, most digital currency exchanges have strict policies, better security, and relationships with law enforcement authorities and blockchain analytics firms allow them to track funds that are illegally exiting or entering the exchange. However, the probability of catching a digital stock market attacker is much higher than in the past.
The second reason is that DeFi platforms have become the primary target for attackers. Many of these platforms have little or no need for KYC, are still in their infancy and do not have a very secure technical infrastructure, making it much easier for an attacker to steal money unnoticed.
Now let’s look at the 2020 digital currency stock hacks in more detail.
On February 5th, the Italian digital currency exchange Altsbit was attacked after an unauthorized person gained access to Altsbit hot wallets and stole cryptocurrencies. The attack resulted in the loss of 6,929 BTC, 23.21 ETH, 3,924,082 ARRR, 414,154 VRSC and 1066 KMD. Although these amounts seem insignificant, they were an important part of the Altsbit treasure, so much so that after the attack took place, Altsbit shut down its platform. At the time of the attack, the funds were worth about 70,000.
On June 2, Coincheck announced that a third party gained access to the platform’s domain registration service and was able to obtain the Coincheck user’s email addresses and personal data. Coincheck said that the personal data that the attacker may have included the user’s name, registered address, date of birth, phone number, and the content of emails sent to Coincheck between May 31 and June 2.
On July 10, the UK-based OTC exchange Cashaa was hacked for 336 BTC. The hack occurred when an OTC transaction manager claimed that the systems Cashaa provided to him were not working and asked him to perform business tasks from his personal computer. Soon after, hackers took control of the Cashaa employee’s computer and moved 336 BTC from the Cashaa exchange hot wallet to their personal wallet.
In early September, Slovakia-based digital currency exchange Eterbase suffered a hot wallet attack that resulted in six digital currencies BTC, ETH / ERC-20, XRP, TRON (TRX), Tezos (XTZ) and Algorand (ALGO). $ 3,945,664 from the ETH / ERC-20 wallet, $ 471,559 from the XTZ wallet, $ 406,620 from the ALGO wallet, $ 339,573 from the XRP wallet, $ 114,954 from the BTC wallet and $ 45,148 from the exchange’s TRX hot wallet.
Just two weeks after Etherbase was attacked, digital currency exchange KuCoin suffered a hot wallet attack that resulted in theft of $ 275 million. The attacker managed to steal 14,713 BSV, 26,733 LTC, 18,495,798 XRP, 999,160 USDT, 1,008 BTC, 9,588,383 XLM and 199,038,936 TRX, as well as ETH and several ERC-20 tokens from the KuCoin hot wallet. Though not verified, KuCoin’s co-founder and CEO Johnny Lyu says 84% of the stolen funds were recovered.
We hope that things will get better in 2021 and we will not have to make a report about “the digital money exchange has been hacked”.