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Massive Crypto Hacks in 2024: Top Incidents and How $1.56 Billion Was Stolen

The first half of 2024 has been a rollercoaster ride in the cryptocurrency world majoring in a rise in known major hacks. It is shocking to know that according to the H1 annual report released by Peckshield over 200 significant incidents were reported and claimed $1.56 billion in losses. Insufficiently, $319 million could be recovered even during such active recovery operations. This has shot up by 293 % from where it was in the same period in 2023, where losses stood at $480 million. 

Defi Protocols: Primary targets for hackers

The decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols remain the most appealing to hackers with $81 million, attracting 59% of the total stolen crypto data. These Dapps are very attractive for hackers because the smart contract code that runs them is quite often very complicated and full of holes. 

24% of these hacks are related to flash loan attacks based on exploiting unsecured borrowing. The remaining 76% of such cases did not involve flash loans but other complex techniques to violate the security. 

Universal attacks on public chains 

The waves of the attack struck more than 20 public blockchains, however, Ethereum, Bitcoin, and XRP chains lost the most. Thus, Ethereum and BNB Chain were the most popular among hackers, as both of them were attacked in 31.3% of the total number of hacks. Arbitrum was second with $12.5%.  

Top Five Hacks of H1 2024

1. DMM Bitcoin

Loss Amount: $305 million

The biggest hack between January to June of 2024 targeted DMM Bitcoin which is one of the largest exchanges; the hackers performed a sophisticated phishing attack. The hackers used tricks to compel employees to disclose essential access codes; they penetrated the system and stole users’ money.

2. PlayDapp

Loss Amount: $290 million

Cryptocurrency gaming platform PlayDapp was among those suffering from a flash loan attack. The sabotagers managed to manipulate token prices with the help of the platform’s smart contracts and siphon a large amount of money from the liquidity pools.

3. Gala Games

Loss Amount: $212 million

Gala Games was erratically breached by a bunch of hackers through social engineering and further actions on smart contracts targeted at the young but rapidly growing gaming and NFT marketplace, Gala Games. Criminals were able to breach into the restricted hot wallet, which led them to steal a plethora of valuable NFTs and tokens.

4. Chris Larsen

Loss Amount: $112.5 million

Chris Larsen, the co-founder of Ripple, his personal security was recently penetrated. Poor management of the private keys led to a huge chunk of losses from his crypto. 

5. BTCturk

Loss Amount: $100.25 million

BTCturk which is an exchange in Turkey became a victim of a serious security violation that was able to penetrate through the multi-factor authentication system. Stealers successfully reached hot wallets and withdrew a significant sum from the clients’ balances.

While the streak of the cryptocurrency market will go on, it means that threats created by hackers will also rise. Therefore, the introduction of new heightened security measures as well as constant auditing of smart contracts, and increased personal security measures are useful to counter new threats.

Read Also: Protect Your Digital Assets: Analysis of Q2 2024 Crypto Thefts and Scams

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