2023’s Costly Reality: Top 10 Crypto Hacks Drained Over $1 Billion

Blockchain security firm SlowMist estimated that total losses from the 10 largest crypto hacks in 2023 totaled over $1 billion. Hacks involving entities linked to Tron founder Justin Sun lost over 20% of funds, even as security companies rush to address fresh threats on Solana.

A Heco chain exploit and a breach at Poloniex caused about $243 million in losses. The hack with the largest loss was that of Mixin, a decentralized digital asset management organization.

Crypto Hacks May be Due to “Duct Tape” Code

Mixin suffered a cloud breach that cost clients about $200 million. The organization arranged to compensate for 50% of losses. The second-largest hack stole $197 million from the decentralized finance lending protocol, Euler Finance.

Read more: How To Identify a Scam Crypto Project

The Poloniex exchange suffered the third-largest loss of $130 million. Poloniex is a crypto exchange bought by controversial crypto entrepreneur Justin Sun. A 2022 report by the Verge alleged that Poloniex’s software consisted of “duct tape” code.

Crypto’s Top Ten Security Incidents | Source: SlowMist

AllianceBlock suffered a hack of its BonqDAO lending protocol in February 2023. The attacker was able to steal the organization’s ALBT native token through a smart contract fault. They made off with an alleged $120 million, although AllianceBlock founder and chief technology officer Matthijs de Vries disputes media reports.

HTX, formerly Huobi, and its eco-focused Heco blockchain were hacked in November for $113 million. Justin Sun, who has not revealed any official exchange role besides “advisor,” was implicated in injecting liquidity into a Tether (USDT)-based staking product HTX launched last year.

In June 2023, Atomic Wallet users suffered a data breach that affected under 1% of users. Orbit Chain, a cross-chain protocol linking multiple networks, was later attacked, losing its users about $82 billion. However, the hack that possibly shook decentralized finance the most in 2023 was a $74 million breach of stablecoin stalwart Curve Finance.

Crypto exchange CoinEx experienced a cyber attack that lost $70 million from more than one blockchain. In July, users of Alphapho, a wallet service, lost $60 million that was believed to have been moved across chains. The attack may have been the work of North Korea’s Lazarus Group.

Solana Hacks Warrant Caution Amid Growth

The Solana developer report recently revealed that the network retained more than 50% of developers in 2023. The report implied that Ethereum developers must undergo intense retraining to work on Solana.

However, the recent growth of the Solana network has attracted sophisticated scams. Recently, hackers tried to persuade Solana users to sign transactions by emulating the responses of genuine Solana wallets. In response, a Web3 fraud protection company, BlockAid, encouraged developers to cooperate with them to help users stay safe.

Hackers Simulate Solana Wallets | Source: BlockAid

Recently, YouTube took down a deepfake of Solana co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko, offering free giveaways. The video used the recent boom in artificial intelligence to trick users. The ad also appeared on X.

A representative of the Solana Foundation, Austin Federa, said such scams were proliferating. Yakovenko’s voice was monotonous in the video, which could give investors a clue. 

“There has been a substantial increase in deepfakes and other AI-generated content recently.”

However, these scams are still challenging to combat but exploit the same tactics used by other fear-of-missing-out (FOMO) schemes. It is also worth checking official social media accounts for signs of similar information.

Read more: Top Cryptocurrency Scams in 2024

Do you have something to say about the Solana hacks, the amount lost to crypto users in 2023, or anything else? Please write to us or join the discussion on our Telegram channel. You can also catch us on TikTokFacebook, or X (Twitter).

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