Crypto Security Alarm: February Sees a 98% Explosion in Hacking Incidents, $300M Looted

March 3, 2024

The cryptocurrency community was rocked by a startling report summarizing hacking activities launched in February, revealing an unprecedented 98% surge in hacking incidents, resulting in the looting of over $300 million. This dramatic escalation not only underscored the burgeoning vulnerabilities within digital asset security frameworks but also marked a significant uptick in the sophistication and audacity of cyber criminals targeting the nascent crypto sector.

there was a 197.67% month-over-month increase in the total amount of assets stolen in February 2024. Despite this staggering increase, there was a 30% decrease in the number of hacking incidents compared to January, with only 21 incidents recorded.

Interestingly, around 1.8% of the total stolen funds, amounting to approximately $6.7 million, were returned to the affected crypto entities.

The biggest loser in February was PlayDapp, a South Korean blockchain-based game development platform and NFT marketplace, which lost over $290 million due to an exploit lasting four days. The unauthorized minting of 200 million PLA tokens worth $36 million initiated the trouble for PlayDapp on February 9.

FixedFloat, an automatic cryptocurrency exchange, was the next biggest loser, with an unknown attacker siphoning almost $26 million worth of BTC and ETH.

Jeff “Jihoz” Zirlin, a co-founder of “Axie Infinity” and Ronin Network, ranked third in the top 5 hacks, losing around $9.7 million from his compromised crypto wallet addresses. Zirlin assured the community that the attack was limited to his personal accounts and did not affect the validation or operations of the Ronin chain.

“This has been a tough morning for me.  Two of my addresses have been compromised. The attack is limited to my personal accounts, and has nothing to do with validation or operations of the Ronin chain. Additionally, the leaked keys have nothing to do with Sky Mavis operations. I want to assure everyone that we have strict security measures in place for all chain-related activities. Thank you to everyone that’s reached out. I’m safe. I will get through this. I will keep pushing forward with each and everyone of you on this magical journey,” the executive said at the time.

Shido Global, a layer-1 blockchain, found itself in the fourth spot after its Ethereum-based staking contract was exploited by malicious actors, resulting in the loss of around $7.3 million in assets.

The stablecoin protocol Seneca rounded off the top 5, losing at least $6.4 million in digital assets due to a critical “call” vulnerability in its smart contract.

In a report shared by international cybersecurity company Hacken to The Daily Shib, it was revealed that the previous year saw a total loss of approximately $1.9 billion due to cryptocurrency hacks. Access control issues accounted for 50% of these losses, with flash loan attacks draining $275 million from protocols. Notably, 20% of the stolen funds were recovered.

The cryptocurrency hacks in February 2024 were particularly significant, highlighting both the increasing sophistication of cybercriminals targeting the crypto sector and the vulnerabilities present within digital asset security frameworks. 

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