The crypto community has seen an increasing number of attacks in the first two months of 2024.

Hackers and scammers have targeted high-profile figures and projects within the industry. According to PeckShield, a security-focused cryptocurrency researcher, February saw a month-on-month (MoM) increase of more than 97.6% in the total value of cryptocurrencies stolen during attacks.

Hacks and exploits have been a growing concern in the cryptocurrency industry, especially for DeFi applications. A total of $1.8 billion was lost in cryptocurrency hacks and scams in 2023, of which 17% is attributed to North Korea’s Lazarus Group, according to a Dec. 28 report from Immunefi.

More than 21 Crypto Attacks in February

In an X post, blockchain researcher PeckShield revealed a massive monthly increase in the total value of stolen funds. In February, hackers stole around $360.83 million during cryptocurrency heists. The theft of $182.54 million occurred in January, according to PeckShield’s previous report. This means that, in comparison, there was a 96.7% increase in total value stolen last month.

However, the 21 hacks represent a 30% drop in individual attacks. compared to January. The first month of the year saw 30 different hacks, including that of Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen on the last day of the month. Exploitation of Larsen addresses accounted for 70% of the total value stolen in January.

Similarly, the PlayDapp hack that occurred in early February accounts for approximately 71% of the funds stolen during that month.

The report also reveals that only 1.8% of the stolen funds have been recovered, and that only $6.7 million of the total $360 million has been recovered. Most of the funds recovered came from the negotiation with the hacker involved in the attack on Seneca, which ended with the return of $5.3 million.

The Three Main Attacks of the Month

These high-profile attacks apparently targeted multiple figures and projects within the crypto community. According to the report, the projects and individuals that suffered the biggest losses include PlayDapp, FixedFloat, and the co-founder of Axie Infinity.

Without a doubt, the biggest loser of last month was the popular web3 gaming platform PlayDapp, with the initial theft of 200 million PLA tokens. The project subsequently suffered the loss of another 1.4 billion tokens after failed attempts to negotiate with the criminals involved. The hacker bonanza resulted in the loss of $290 million for the gaming platform, which ultimately decided to migrate to a new token to protect customers.

Second, decentralized finance (DeFi) crypto exchange FixedFloat had nearly $26 million worth of Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) stolen in the middle of the month. The hackers dispersed the funds to complicate the tracking of the tokens. The stolen Bitcoin was distributed among multiple addresses, while ETH funds were sent to externally owned accounts and the eXch centralized mixer.

Lastly, with over $9.7 million worth of Ether stolen, Jeff ‘Jihoz’ Zirlin suffered the third largest loss. The co-founder of Axie Infinity was the victim of two of his addresses being hacked. The Zirlin attack allegedly occurred due to “leaked keys,” which allowed the hacker to withdraw 3,248 ETH that were immediately “tornado charged.” These recent figures suggest stolen funds are increasing at an alarming rate.

A previous report by PeckShield revealed that the total value of stolen crypto funds in 2023 was around $342 million. Last year’s value represented a 25% reduction compared to 2022. However, high-profile hacks in the first two months of 2024 already exceeded the previous year’s total value.

By Leonardo Perez


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