Crypto security breaches cause $4.25 billion losses worth of cryptos in 2021

Pierluigi Paganini January 02, 2022

According to a report published by Invezz, the number of crypto security breaches increased by up 850% in the last decade.

The cyberattacks against the cryptocurrency industry are a profitable business for threat actors, according to the experts, $12.1 billion worth of cryptocurrencies have been stolen in the last decade.

In 2021 we observed a spike in crypto heists, $4.25 billion worth of cryptos were stolen by cybercriminals in 2021. The countries where cryptocurrencies were most popular suffered major losses, including Japan, South Korea, the United States, the United Kingdom, and China.

“Cryptocurrency crime stands in direct proportion to the size of the cryptocurrency market. It is estimated that the cryptocurrencies stolen between January 2011 and December 2021 amount to $12.1 billion.” reads the report published by Invezz. 

Threat actors used different means to steal crypto-funds, the most profitable ones are attacks exploiting vulnerabilities in the infrastructure of crypto exchange or in the implementation of the protocols. In recent months we observed a surge in crypto-scams due to the continuous increase of the value of popular cryptocurrency schema, $7.12 billion were lost due to scams. The percentage increase in the number of scams per year is up by 850% in the last decade.

Threat actors stole $3.18 billion from organizations in the industry and attacks against DeFi platforms accounted for $1.76 billion.

In this post, I present an abstract from the original analysis that I suggest reading, below the annual increase in the number of breaches:

YearNumber of ScamsYearIncrease In Number of Breaches (%)
2021762020 – 2021145%
2020312019 – 202019%
2019262018 – 201973%

According to the report, 2021 is the year with the highest number of scams.

Increase in money lost to crypto breaches

YearTotal Money Lost ($)YearIncrease In Money Lost (%)
20214,250,000,0002020 – 2021185%
20201,490,000,0002019 – 2020-57%
20193,500,156,0002018 – 2019259%
2018974,000,0002017 – 201851%
2017645,901,0002016 – 2017341%
2016146,509,0002015 – 2016-64%

The top 5 breaches in history are:

1. Mt. Gox, $615M

2. Poly Network, $611M+

3. Coincheck, $534M

4. KuCoin, $281M

5. PancakeBunny, $200M  

Additional info is reported in the interesting report published by Invezz

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, crypto security breaches)

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