New Report: Crypto Theft in 2018’s Nine Months Exceed 2017 Values

Dec 12, 2018 at 23:42

CipherTrace said 2018 thefts have resulted in $927 million worth of losses to investors around the world, increasing hack losses registered in 2017 by three-folds.

“CipherTrace revealed a three-fold increase in cryptocurrency thefts during the first half of 2018 compared with the entire year of 2017,” read the cryptocurrency intelligence firm’s Q3 Cryptocurrency Anti-Money Laundering report, as of quarter-three, 2018, cryptocurrency thefts had already reached $927 million.

It pointed out that 36 times more criminal bitcoin is received by cryptocurrency exchanges in countries that have “either weak or not enforced” anti-money laundering regulations such as considerably risky transactions remain successfully get processed.

The US was tagged as one of the most vulnerable countries to cryptocurrency theft, with 56% of all attacks happening in the country.

Bulk of these stolen cryptocurrencies, specifically $731 million worth, was robbed from exchanges with some of the most notable hacks including that of Japanese exchange Coincheck at $530 million and BitGrail which lost some $195 million dollars’ worth of digital tokens.

Among the major hacks cited were the $350 million Bithumb Exchange hack and the $23.5 million Bancor exchange or initial coin offering hack, among others.

CipherTrace predicts that this trend will continue, saying that thefts will add up to well over $1 billion, a forecast which still excludes the $50 million CoinHoarder phishing thefts and the more than $60 million in cryptocurrency that has not been publicly disclosed.

The report, claimed to be the first of its kind to measure “quantitatively” measure the extent of crypto thefts, also warned of scam modus that are not only in the works but are already gaining traction.

“CipherTrace issued an alert on a spike in online mass customized extortion (spear phishing) using cryptocurrency as payment for ransom or blackmail. Other threats include advanced malware targeting crypto exchange personnel,” the report said.

“Another new threat, SIM swapping, is becoming widespread. It involves transferring the victim’s phone number to a SIM card held by a hacker.” it added.