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Report: $882 Million Has Been Lost to Cryptocurrency Exchanges Hacks and ICO Scams


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A report has found that over nearly two years the amount of cryptocurrency lost to hackers has accounted for $882 million.

Hacks Set to Rise

It seems that cryptocurrency exchanges will remain the focus of attention for criminals intent on stealing users’ funds. Not only that, but according to Group-IB, who conducted the research, that figure is set to rise in 2019 too.

In a report from Bank Info Security, the Moscow-based security firm wrote:

In 2019, cryptocurrency exchanges will be a new target for the most aggressive hacker groups usually attacking banks. The number of targeted attacks on crypto exchanges will rise.

However, it’s not just cryptocurrency exchanges that are at risk. So too are initial coin offerings (ICOs). The report found that over 10 percent of funds raised during ICOs were stolen. Given the number of scams related to ICOs, though, it’s not surprising.

In August, it was reported that nearly $100 million has been lost to ICO exit scams. Yet, with ICOs remaining a popular way of raising funds, the risk of falling victim to one is high.

Consequently, Group-IB state:

Attacks on ICOs will remain a threat for every project potentially able to attract investors.

Whether it’s crypto exchanges or ICOs, there will be risks involved. However, by being vigilant and researching the company in question before investing any money a person can make it harder for criminals to steal their money. It remains to be seen how much higher this figure will rise by the end of the year.

Crypto is the New Bank

In January, Coincheck, a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange, found itself the victim of a hack. This resulted in over $500 million being stolen, which saw the country’s financial regulator applying a firmer hand to how crypto exchanges work.

In this instance, the hackers were able to obtain the exchange’s private keys to gain access to it hot wallet. It is these online wallets, which are often susceptible to hacks because they are connected to the internet. While they do provide convenience for most people, they come with high risks as well.

With interest in the crypto market continuing day by day, it’s to be expected that criminals will target it. Just like bank robbers used to conduct bank heists to get what they wanted, cryptocurrency exchanges and ICOs are becoming the chosen method.

Have you been impacted by an ICO scam? Have you lost money from a crypto exchange? Let us know in the comments below.

Images courtesy of ShutterStock

Rebecca Campbell
Rebecca Campbell
Rebecca Campbell is a freelance bitcoin and blockchain journalist based in England. She has a keen interest in the blockchain space and the use cases the technology is being in and is excited to see what new changes the distributed ledger brings to our day-to-day lives.


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