The year 2019 saw more cryptocurrency hacks than any other year says Chainanysis in their annual blog report on security.  The 11 attacks that blasted the community last year, did not total to  losses anything near the 2018 $534 million Coincheck hack, or the $473  million Mt. Gox hack in 2014. Therefore, the total amount stolen from  exchanges dropped sharply to $283 million worth of cryptocurrency  despite the increased number of attacks.

Currencies  included: ADA, BCH, BTC, ETH, EOS, LTC, NANO, NEM, USDT, XRP, and  others (see table entitled "2019 Exchange Attacks Quantified")

Chainalysis, one of the world's leading blockchain analysis companies, explained their conclusions:

  • We counted both hacks involving the exploitation of technical  vulnerabilities and attacks conducted through social engineering or  other forms of deception. (A note on terminology: All hacks are attacks,  but not all attacks are hacks. Hacks refer specifically to cases where a  bad actor exploits a technical vulnerability in a piece of software,  while attacks can include other, less technically sophisticated actions,  such as phishing attacks that trick victims into downloading a  malicious piece of software.)
  • We only counted attacks that  allowed bad actors to access funds belonging to exchanges, and not  payment processors, wallet providers, investment platforms, or other  types of services.
  • We didn't count exchange exit scams or cases  of users exploiting an exchange error, such as the pricing discrepancy  that nearly allowed a Synthetix user to net over $1 billion in faulty  trades.
  • We only included attacks in which the amount stolen was  measured and publicly confirmed by multiple sources. That means we  didn't include incidents in which exchanges' user data was compromised,  but no cryptocurrency was stolen. We also excluded hacks that have been  privately reported to us but are confident that including them wouldn't  significantly skew the data we analyze here.

2019 Exchange Attacks Quantified

More from the blog:

"With  no hacks taking in more than the $105 million stolen from Coinbene,  both the average and median amount was stolen per hack fell  substantially in 2019, after having risen each of the three preceding  years. Only 54% of the hacks we observed in 2019 took in more than $10  million, compared with all hacks in 2018. While the increase in the  number of individual hacks should be concerning, the data indicate that  exchanges have gotten better at limiting the damage any one hacker can  do."

For more details on the hacks and in particular, the infamous  Lazarus Group — a cybercriminal syndicate linked to the North Korean  government, please visit the excellent report at Chainalysis Blog.

Originally published at Blockchain News.