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Hackers steal cryptos worth $1.4 billion globally in six months – Report 

Crypto traders globally lost a total of $1.4 billion to hackers in the first six months of this year, according to researchers at TRM Labs, a crypto research firm. 

The six-month report showed that the amount stolen by hackers between January and June 2024 doubled what was stolen in the same period of last year.

In the first half of 2023, the value of stolen cryptos stood at $657 million. 

TRM Labs further disclosed that similar to 2023, a small number of large attacks made up the lion’s share of the haul in 2024 as the top five hacks and exploits accounted for 70% of the total amount stolen so far this year.  

It added that private key and seed phrase compromises remain a top attack vector in 2024, alongside smart contract exploits and flash loan attacks. 

The largest attack 

According to the report, DMM Bitcoin, a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange, suffered the largest attack so far in 2024. The theft resulted in the theft of over 4,500 BTC, valued at over USD 300 million at the time.  

“While the exact cause of the attack remains unknown, potential vectors include stolen private keys or address poisoning—a tactic wherein attackers send tiny amounts of cryptocurrency to a victim’s wallet to create fake transaction histories, potentially confusing users into sending funds to the wrong address in future transactions,” TRM Labs stated. 

The researchers added that more money was stolen during each of the first six months of 2024 than in the corresponding months in 2023, with the median hack 150% larger. However, thefts from hacks and exploits are a third below the same period in 2022, which remains a record year.  

“To date, TRM has observed no fundamental changes in the security of the cryptocurrency ecosystem that may explain this upward trend; nor have we found significant differences in attack vectors or the number of attacks between the first halves of 2023 and 2024.  

“However, the past six months did see significantly higher average token prices compared to this period last year; this is likely to have contributed to the increased theft volumes,” the researchers said 

What you should know 

Crypto prices have generally recovered from the lows hit in late 2022 in the aftermath of the collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto exchange, FTX. Bitcoin hit an all-time high of $73,803.25 in March this year. 

  • However, as of Friday, Bitcoin price had dropped below $54,000 its lowest price level since late February.  
  • Cryptocurrency companies are frequent targets for hacks and cyberattacks, although losses of this scale are rare. 
  • Meanwhile, the United Nations has recently accused North Korea of using cyberattacks to help fund its nuclear and missile programs.  
  • North Korea has previously denied allegations of hacking and other cyberattacks. 

Source: TheTimes.com.ng.

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