Crypto Hacking Thefts Surge to $1.4 Billion in First Half of 2024

Significant increase in cryptocurrency thefts attributed to major attacks and rising crypto prices.

Jul 5, 2024 - 09:39
Jul 5, 2024 - 09:40
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Crypto Hacking Thefts Surge to $1.4 Billion in First Half of 2024
Crypto Hacking Thefts Surge to $1.4 Billion in First Half of 2024

In the first half of 2024, cryptocurrency thefts have more than doubled compared to the same period in 2023, reaching $1.4 billion. This surge is driven by a few large-scale hacks and increasing crypto values.

Dramatic Rise in Crypto Thefts

The value of cryptocurrency stolen through hacks globally has more than doubled in the first six months of 2024, compared to the same timeframe last year. According to blockchain researchers at TRM Labs, hackers stole over $1.38 billion worth of crypto by June 24, 2024, up from $657 million in the first half of 2023. The median theft amount also increased by one-and-a-half times from the previous year.

Key Factors Behind the Increase

Rising Crypto Prices and Motivations

Ari Redbord, the global head of policy at TRM Labs, explained that while there haven’t been fundamental changes in the security of the cryptocurrency ecosystem, the value of various tokens such as Bitcoin, Ether, and Solana has risen significantly compared to last year. This rise in value has made cybercriminals more motivated to target crypto services, leading to higher theft amounts when they do succeed.

Recovery from Previous Lows

Cryptocurrency prices have generally bounced back from the lows experienced in late 2022 following the collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried's FTX exchange. Bitcoin, for instance, reached an all-time high of $73,803.25 in March this year.

Major Hacks in 2024

One of the largest thefts this year involved approximately $308 million worth of Bitcoin stolen from the Japanese crypto exchange DMM Bitcoin. The company described this incident as an "unauthorized leak."

Comparison with Previous Years

Crypto companies are frequent targets for hacks, though losses of this magnitude are rare. In 2022, stolen cryptocurrency volumes were around $900 million, which included over $600 million stolen from a blockchain network linked to the online game Axie Infinity. The United States has attributed that theft to North Korean hackers.

International Implications

The United Nations has accused North Korea of using cyberattacks to fund its nuclear and missile programs, though North Korea has denied these allegations. The increase in crypto thefts this year highlights the ongoing challenges in securing digital assets against sophisticated cyber threats.

Also Read: Bitcoin Reaches Lowest Level Since February Amid Persistent Sale Fears

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