Cryptocurrency exchanges have been one of the most popular targets for hackers over the entirety of the previous decade. With the end of 2019, researchers were finally able to obtain all the necessary data and assess the damage done to crypto exchanges throughout the previous year.
As it turns out, 2019 still saw quite a few hacking attacks, which resulted in a theft of around $283 million, in total. While this represents a significant decrease from 2018’s $875 million, it is still a hefty sum to be stolen, especially since the authorities have worked hard to ensure that crypto exchanges will implement advanced security measures.
Improved security reduces the damage made by exchange hacks
The report comes from the blockchain analysis company, Chainalys. The company was able to confirm that the exchanges’ security is indeed improved, which is the reason why the stolen amount in 2019 is several times lower than the one from the year before. Not only that, but the company confirmed that hacking groups are improving their strategies, and are becoming more and more sophisticated.
In fact, the company is currently working on a detailed review of hackers’ routines within the crypto industry. As for the current report, the company has stressed that only 54% of hacking attacks on crypto exchanges resulted in a theft of more than $10 million, as opposed to the situation from 2018.
According to the report, online criminals are mostly using technical vulnerabilities, social engineering attacks, and other forms of deception to pull off their attacks. And, while hackers are known for stealing anything that they can get their hands on, there are some coins that are more preferred than others. Chainalysis believes that those include BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, LTC, USDT, EOS, ADA, NANO, and NEM.
Some of the largest hacks from 2019 include the theft of $105 million from Coinbene, $40 million stolen from Binance, and $40+ million stolen from Upbit. Finally, the company encouraged exchanges to keep working on their security updates, as they are clearly having a major impact. In the meantime, it also encourages crypto companies to flag any suspicious transactions before they are processed and to teach their staff how to protect themselves from phishing and similar types of attacks.