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The November Heist: How Cybercriminals stole $363 million in cryptocurrencies

November was marked by a series of alarming security breaches in the cryptocurrency sector, culminating in financial losses that exceeded all previous months this year. The report from blockchain security firm CertiK shows a worrying trend of increasing threats in the crypto space.

The most important crypto hacks of the month at a glance

The most serious of these breaches occurred at Poloniex, a well-known crypto exchange, where hackers managed to steal approximately $131.4 million. This attack, believed to be the work of North Korea's notorious Lazarus Group, involved a sophisticated compromise of private keys.

In a closely related incident, the HTX and Heco Bridge, owned by Justin Sun, suffered massive damage. Over $100 million was withdrawn from two hot wallets, highlighting the vulnerabilities in storing digital assets.

Adding to the month's woes, KyberSwap, a well-known exchange, was hit by a flash loan attack. This incident drained approximately $45 million from their liquidity pools and shows the novel methods cybercriminals are using in the crypto space.

Cumulative losses in November totaled a staggering $316.4 million from direct exploits, $45.5 million from flash loan attacks, and $1.1 million from exit scams. These figures are part of a larger, more worrying trend in 2023, where total losses due to security breaches have already exceeded $1.7 billion. This is a significant increase compared to the $3.7 billion lost in 2022 and reflects the $1.7 billion lost in 2021.

Other notable incidents included a phishing scam that caused a single victim to lose $27 million and a $25 million loss to Kronos Research due to compromised API keys.

Diploma:

In response to these incidents, affected platforms have initiated extensive investigations and are actively working to improve their security measures. The industry now faces the challenge of not only addressing these immediate concerns, but also anticipating and protecting against the evolving tactics of cybercriminals.

The rise in sophisticated attacks such as SIM swapping and multi-signature vulnerability exploitation suggests that traditional security methods such as smart contract auditing may no longer be sufficient. The crypto industry's collective efforts to strengthen its security infrastructure are critical to restoring user trust and ensuring the long-term viability and security of cryptocurrency platforms.

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