Private Key Breaches Surge in 2024 with Over $239 Million Stolen! Is Your Crypto Safe?

There’s a new, very concerning, trend that has picked pace in the crypto ecosystem. Private key thefts have surged dramatically in March 2024, leaving a substantial financial impact. According to Certik, a leading Web3 security firm, the period from March 12 to March 16 saw losses totaling approximately $22.96 million due to private key compromises.

The first quarter of 2024 witnessed a concerning trend with $239 million in losses attributed to private key breaches, significantly higher than the previous year’s figures. The number of reported incidents has also doubled, with 24 attacks recorded in 2024 compared to 11 in Q1 2023.

A Look at the High-Profile Hits and Attacks

In a high-profile incident, Chris Larsen, Co-founder and Executive Chairman of Ripple, suffered losses amounting to $112 million when his X account was compromised. Additionally, other entities like Prompt, Mozaic Fi, Wilder World, and Remilia faced targeted attacks resulting in substantial losses. Here’s a look.

  1. NFPrompt: A group of hackers broke into Prompt’s wallet and compromised the accounts of contract administrators of the company causing approximately $10.4 million in losses. A suspicious wallet set up a multi-sig wallet and sent around $7 million of NFP tokens. What’s more, around 3.6 million NFT tokens currently worth $3.4 million at the time of transaction have moved to MEXC.
  1. Mozaic Fi: On March 15, the private key was stolen from the Master role wallet of Mozaic Fi. In total, $2.1 was swindled from the users and sent to MEXC and Binance. Fortunately, Mozaic Fi even recovered 90 % of the stolen money by reporting and freezing the funds on relevant exchanges on time.

Read More: Crypto Hacks of the Week: Breaches, Scams, and Rug Pulls Rock the Market

  1. Wilder World: Nine legacy vesting contracts of Wilder World were illegally breached and assets worth $1.81 million were stolen. This breach concerned the compromised deployer’s private key which allowed an attacker to divert balances of contract tokens.
  1. Remilia: On March 16, the wallets of Remilia, the founder Reported a phishing attack. The attacker gained access to many wallets by hijacking the BitWarden account. 300 ETH and several assets worth a further 544 ETH, which included REMIO and MILADY NFTs, were stolen from multiple wallets. 

Securing Private Keys

Private keys, essential for accessing and managing digital assets on blockchain networks, are vulnerable to theft through phishing, malware, or social engineering tactics. Protecting these keys is crucial for mitigating losses and ensuring the security of digital asset holdings.

With the threat of private key thefts looming large, prioritizing security measures is imperative for both public and private entities operating in the digital assets arena. Proactive steps are essential to safeguard against future losses and uphold the integrity of the web3 ecosystem.

Also Read: Coinbase Battles SEC for Clear Crypto Regulations: CCI Joins the Fight!

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