Stolen Crypto Rises More Than 50% Year-on-Year to Over $500 Million 

Key Takeaways

  • In Q1 2024, stolen cryptocurrency amounts exceeded $500m, as per Hack3d: The Web3 Security Report by Certik.
  • January saw the most losses, with over $193 million stolen in 78 incidents.
  • Private key compromises and Ethereum-based incidents were particularly costly.

The first quarter of 2024 has seen major losses due to cryptocurrency theft. The losses surpass the $500m mark, revealed Hack3d : The Web3 Security Report by Certik. The increase notes the growing sophistication and frequency of cyber attacks within the digital asset space.

Surge in Crypto Theft

In the first three months of 2024, cryptocurrency thefts increased with over half a billion dollars lost to hackers. The loss represents a 54% increase compared to the same period in 2023, where the total losses amounted to $326m. However, it’s a slight decrease from the last quarter of 2023, the report found. In Q4 2023, the losses touched $522m.

Certik finds that January 2024 was particularly brutal, with $193m stolen across 78 incidents.

Private key compromises stand out in the report, with these attacks alone resulting in the loss of $239m across just 26 incidents. Private key breaches, which target the unique keys individuals use to access their cryptocurrency holdings, accounted for nearly half of all financial losses, despite comprising only 11.7% of all reported security breaches.

This discrepancy highlights the critical vulnerability associated with private key security in the digital asset ecosystem.

Source: Hack3d: The Web3 Security Report by Certik
Source: Hack3d: The Web3 Security Report by Certik

Ethereum, the leading platform for decentralized applications, was the most affected by security breaches. The report noted 131 incidents leading to $139m in losses. It leaves a large community vulnerable given Ethereum’s central role in the development and deployment of decentralized finance (DeFi) applications and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Combating Cyber Security Threat

The report also sheds light on recovery efforts, noting that around $77.97m were recovered or returned, with a significant portion stemming from the Munchables incident.

In March, the Munchables project on the Blast blockchain was hacked, losing $62.5m in ether (ETH). Investigator ZachXBT found that the hackers were linked to North Korea.

The thefts note the importance of proactive security measures and the complexities involved in tracing and reclaiming stolen funds.

A PeckShield report finds that March 2024 saw a reduction in the number of hacks, with approximately $187.29m lost in over 30 incidents. The on-chain security platform finds that bout $98.8m was recovered. The figures mark a 48% decrease from February’s figures and reflect the ongoing efforts within the crypto community to enhance security protocols and mitigate risks.

Recoveries Decrease Losses

Despite the recoveries noted, Web3 security reports paint a concerning picture. While emerging trends indicate that some risk has been mitigated, the current state of cybersecurity within the cryptocurrency is still concerning.

Security audits and user-centric solutions for fund protection remain the focus in the next few years.

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