Remember when Apple upgraded IOS data privacy features and now asks permission to track across apps? They implemented these protections in light of Facebook being investigated for unlawfully selling users data. As our everyday life becomes more digital, cyber security needs to be a top priority. If Apple is taking strides to protect our digital personal info, who’s protecting our digital financial info?
The popularity of cryptocurrency has rapidly grown since it was first introduced in 2009. With the help of social media, specifically FinTwit communities, crypto trading has spread into mainstream methods of investing, with approximately 1 in 5 people in the US owning a form of crypto. Building a portfolio of digital currency is no longer a niche, but it is unfamiliar to many. And while this is a hopeful sign for traders infused with hopes for a block-chain dominant future, it has made asset security of the utmost importance.
In 2022 alone, there have been 125 hacks leading to $3 billion dollars worth of crypto being stolen. Hackers are finding gold mines in breaching blockchain – stealing way more than they could carry out of a bank in a traditional money heist.
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As crypto and cybersecurity evolves, hopefully the number of hacks and funds stolen reduces significantly. But, until then, take a look at five of the most insane and expensive crypto hacks in history.
1. FTX: Up to $3 billion
Date of Hack: November 2022
In a more recent (and high-profile) crypto attack, FTX declared the company had gone bankrupt. On that same day, over $600 million dollars was stolen from users’ crypto wallets, leaving them with balances of $0. The following day, FTX had begun moving their digital assets to cold storage and they are investigating the unusual account movements. It’s unclear if it was an inside job or not, but FTX users are still reeling from being blindsided by both the bankruptcy news and the theft. Another crypto platform, Kraken, has identified the hacker responsible for the hack and are working with authorities.
2. Ronin Network: $625 million
Date of Hack: March 2022
Ronin Network was the platform that housed the blockchain-based game, Axie Infinity. Due to an overwhelming increase of demand from gamers, the hackers were able to breach the platform’s reduced security by stealing private keys to forge legitimate fund withdrawals.
3. Poly Network: $611 million
Date of Hack: August 2021
One hacker alone used a bug to send more than $600 million dollars worth of tokens to their three separate wallets. Poly Network is a platform that lets users exchange tokens between different blockchains. Reports said the attacker” had found a way to ‘unlock’ (i.e. buy) tokens on the Poly Network protocol without ‘locking’ (i.e. selling) the corresponding tokens on other blockchains.” Shortly after the heist, the hacker returned the funds, making many believe he did it for the thrill rather than the monetary gain.
4. Binance: $570 million
Date of Hack: October 2022
A hacker attacked Binance’s cross-chain bridge, called the BSC Token Hub. This bridge allows users to transfer assets between different blockchains. This direct hit caused extra Binance Coin (BNB) tokens to be created, allowing the hacker to drain $2 million tokens from the platform. The $2 million tokens are estimated to be the price of over $570 million dollars.
5. Coincheck: $547 million
Date of Hack: January 2018
Coincheck, a Japanese based crypto exchange platform, was hacked with over $540 million dollars sold in the form of NEM tokens. Coincheck kept their funds stored in a “hot wallet,” which means the storage is connected to the internet. Hence, it is vastly more vulnerable to attacks. The hackers were able to breach the cybersecurity and send funds to themselves.
Now if you want to be constantly worrying and anxious, you can track the increasing crypto hacks daily. But instead anticipating a potential attack – set up a defense for your portfolio. You wouldn’t leave your front door unlocked, so why leave your money vulnerable?
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How To Protect Your Crypto From Digital Hackers
If you buy or trade cryptocurrency or NFTs, a Ledger hardware wallet is essential. Every crypto-need from buying, trading, to managing is available conveniently and securely in one place. Ledger hardware wallet paired with Ledger Live protects crypto portfolios from hacks while remaining accessible only to you. All you need to focus on is growing your wealth, leave the security to the experts at Ledger.