Exploring The Top Crypto Hacks In History

One of the biggest selling points for cryptocurrency is its safe and secure nature when compared to traditional monetary systems. Even though it is claimed otherwise, the secure and decentralized nature of the crypto world has never been completely immune to hacking and thefts. This article will give a quick glance into some of the top crypto hacks in history to date. 

Top Crypto Hacks In History

Binance (2019) – Targeting the Big Names

Binance is without a doubt, one of the biggest names in the crypto world and it is also the biggest name in the business that has been the victim of a hack. It is the largest crypto exchange in the world by volume but that didn’t stop it from being hit by a security issue in 2019.

Binance has its headquarters in the Cayman Islands and it offers more than 300 different cryptocurrencies. Along with this, Binance is also credited for creating an entire crypto ecosystem. 

The unfortunate event took place in May 2019 and the hackers withdrew around 7000 Bitcoins from its hot wallet. Taking the price of the coins stolen into consideration, it is calculated that the attack has accounted for a total loss of $40 million.

The hackers were able to break into the system of Binance by obtaining valuable data like two-factor codes, APIs, and other information. All the missing coins from the attack were linked to a single cryptocurrency wallet and in their response to the attack, Binance stated that the platform’s secure asset fund for users (SAFU) will account for the loss. 

Mt. Gox (2011) – The first major hack in the crypto world

Mt. Gox was a crypto exchange launched in 2010 and they based their operations in Tokyo, Japan. The exchange was a victim of not just one attack but two major hacks over the period of three years.

At a particular point in time, Mt. Gox was one of the biggest crypto exchange firms in the world and used to handle more than 70% of global bitcoin transactions. The first reported attack on the exchange occurred in 2011 where hackers stole bitcoin worth $8.75 million. Following the attack and allegations about its security measures, the firm promised to make the needed improvements but three years later, faced another attack which was much more in magnitude than the first one.

Hackers broke into the systems of MT. Gox and almost 850,000 bitcoins which are valued at around $615 million were stolen. 

The fall of the company in not using any control software over its site’s source code was criticized by many and the CEO of the company Mark Karpeles was accused of being responsible for it. Customers filed different lawsuits and investors and the company is trying to refund the customers through a rehabilitation plan presented before the Tokyo District court. 

KuCoin (2020) – The Most Recent One

This most recent attack on a popular crypto exchange KuCoin is also one of the largest security breaches in the history of the crypt world.

KuCoin was founded in 2013 and its headquarters and major operations are based in Singapore. The platform deals with almost all major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and so on.

The exchange was targeted and became the victim of one of the biggest security hacks in September 2020. According to reports the value of the stolen coins is estimated to be around $281 million. The hackers were also able to obtain the keys to some of the hottest wallets on the exchange. 

KuCoin was quite fast in responding to this attack. They immediately stopped all the transactions through the website. Following the attack, KuCoin started a thorough investigation into the attack. They were successful in recovering funds worth $204 million within a few weeks.

The investigation also shed light on the possible culprits of the incident and a hacker group based in North Korea stands on top of the list. The sudden move from KuCoin was quite helpful in limiting the damage. 

While we have looked into three of the major crypto hacks in history, such incidents are not limited to these cases alone. Coinbene(2019), Cryptopia(2019), Bitfinex(2016), Upbit(2019), and Bancor(2018) are some of the other examples of major hacks in crypto history. 

Even though crypto exchange platforms talk about the security of the method, these incidents show that the crypto exchange platforms need to be more vigilant and should offer more protection in keeping the asset safe and out of the reach of such advanced hackers.

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