In late December 2017, NiceHash, a Slovenian cryptocurrency exchange, was hacked, causing it to lose 4,700 Bitcoin. The exchange was used to let independent miners rent hash power and distribute rewards through hot wallets. Eventually, the exchange was shut down. Users who lost funds were reimbursed by Bitfinex.
Cryptocurrency has made the process of using financial services more secure and inexpensive, but it is also a huge target for hackers. A recent theft involving the Slovenian cryptocurrency exchange NiceHash resulted in the loss of over 4,700 Bitcoin. The exchange was a marketplace that allowed independent miners to rent hash power from the exchange and distribute rewards to members via hot and cold wallets. It is unclear whether the thief has been caught or if the money will be recovered.
The most significant Bitcoin theft in recent years was the Mt. Gox hack, in which hackers stole $470 million worth of bitcoins. Another attack was the Wormhole Bridge attack, which targeted the Ethereum and Solana blockchains. A number of users were also hacked while playing popular online games.
Cryptojacking in Docker
Cryptojacking is a method that uses malware to steal cryptocurrency from computers. This code can be easily installed and is very hard to detect. Many attacks use pre-made software to infect computers. Once installed, this code remains undetected. As a result, these attacks are growing in popularity and are not likely to slow down anytime soon. In fact, according to a report by SonicWall, there will be 81.9 million cryptojacking attacks in 2020.
Cryptojackers are increasingly targeting Docker containers to steal cryptocurrency. These malware variants use a vulnerable CPU in the infected machine to mine cryptocurrency. They then send stolen cryptocurrencies to a malicious wallet.
Poly Network vulnerability
The Poly Network hack, which involved the theft of $600 million worth of cryptocurrencies, serves as a reminder to regulators and cryptocurrency companies that they need to implement anti-money laundering controls. The hack was an exploit of a vulnerability in a smart contract, which was convinced to transfer funds to a third party. This resulted in a theft of $600 million worth of cryptocurrencies that the company needed to conduct chain swapping.
The Poly Network vulnerability has been one of the most significant bitcoin thefts in history. It has resulted in the loss of millions of dollars in crypto assets, including the BUNNY token. In one day, the value of BUNNY dropped by more than ninety percent, from $146 to $6. While the attackers were not caught, the damage to investors and everyone else involved has been immense.
MT Gox hack
The MT Gox hack is one of the biggest Bitcoin thefts in recent history. It led to the loss of 650,000 Bitcoins. The company’s CEO, Mark Karpeles, was jailed for fraud in 2015, but the case against him is still pending. In the meantime, users are awaiting reimbursement from the exchange. The company’s bankruptcy trustees plan to compensate creditors from October 2021 onwards. Eventually, the company plans to pay billions of dollars in compensation to its disgruntled ex-customers.
In the months following the hack, Mt Gox went offline. The website was no longer available and the Twitter feed disappeared. The hacker was able to access the accounts of more than seventy thousand users and made off with $460 million, which amounts to almost $28.1 billion today.
KuCoin’s ethereum hot wallets
While it’s not easy to keep your bitcoins safe, the KuCoin exchange has taken several steps to prevent this problem. First, it encourages two-factor authentication. This means that a second password is required to enter into your account. Secondly, it allows users to set up “safety phrases” that will appear in emails. This helps prevent fraud and phishing attacks. It’s also important to note that KuCoin is not licensed in the U.S., so you may want to check out other exchanges before you deposit any of your Bitcoins.
The Lazarus Group is another notorious bad actor in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. It’s known for causing massive damage to the ecosystem, and in September 2020, it was responsible for the theft of more than $275 million worth of cryptocurrency from KuCoin. The hack, which occurred after hackers obtained private keys to users’ hot wallets, disrupted the exchange’s internal network and enabled hackers to bypass the platform’s security system. The exchange recovered $204 million of stolen funds.
Zaif’s loss of 62 million USD
Several Cryptocurrency exchanges were attacked and plundered in September 2018, including Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Zaif. Zaif lost over 60 million USD in fiat equivalent. The exchange was able to detect the theft within three days, and immediately reimbursed customers. But the damage was already done.
The attack was carried out using virus and phishing attacks. The company was ordered to make improvements to its security systems and anti-money laundering procedures. The hacker attacks have shaken the crypto community as a whole. Andrew LIM, the President of the South Korea Blockchain Association, said that the incident is likely to lead to better management.
Larry Dean Harmon’s Helix “tumbling” operation
The amount of money stolen from Helix customers is over three hundred and fifty million dollars, or 354,468 bitcoins. Most of this money was moved through darknet markets. The government has accused Harmon of money laundering and facilitation of controlled substances, and is pursuing the case to prove that he knew that cryptocurrencies were being used to buy drugs.
The Department of Justice alleges that Helix was operating in conjunction with the AlphaBay darknet marketplace, which was known for drug dealing. The site was shut down by law enforcement in December 2017. In January 2018, FinCEN levied a $60 million civil money penalty against Harmon for operating a “convertible virtual currency exchange.” It was found that Helix failed to register as a money services business, implement an anti-money laundering program, and report suspicious activity.