Cryptocurrency user statistics in 2022 show 16% of Americans use cryptocurrency, with 67% of millennials viewing high-value currencies such as Bitcoin as a safer place to store wealth when compared to traditional assets such as gold. With growing popularity, this has put the spotlight on the safety of the cryptocurrency market – and the potential for loss should finances be stolen.
On the other hand, hackers have gotten ever better at exploiting weaknesses in blockchains and crypto platforms to a surprisingly high degree of success. Just earlier this year, one of the largest crypto hacks took place, and hackers made away with $614 million from Ronin Network, a crypto exchange.
Unfortunately, hacks have become more common, and in this piece, we will look at the most notorious ones and how you can recover from one. So keep reading to learn more.
Most Famous Crypto Hacks
1. Ronin Network (2020)
Ronin Network is a crypto exchange based on the Ethereum sidechain that also supports blockchain games. Players use the platform to exchange in-game assets into cryptocurrency and to trade them. However, in March this year, Ronin was the victim of one of the worst crypto hacks in history.
Hackers managed to get their hands on Ronin users’ crypto keys and emptied multiple accounts of 173,600 Ethereum and 25.5 million USDC, with a combined value of $614 million. Ronin Network is currently working with authorities and forensic cryptographers to try and recover the lost funds.
2. Poly Network (2021)
Poly Network is an interoperability platform that facilitates swapping tokens between different blockchains. It was formed in 2020 to solve chain data issues concerning crypto transactions, security, and trust. However, in 2021, a hacker compromised the platform and emptied thousands of its users’ accounts to the tune of $166 million.
But the story did not stop there. The hacker later returned all the funds, and the Poly network moved to fix the weaknesses exposed in their system. Though it has never been confirmed, we think this is one of those ethical hacking incidences aiming to expose DeFi systems’ vulnerabilities so they can be fixed. In addition, there are even courses that teach ethical hacking.
3. Coincheck (2018)
Another platform that has suffered immense losses from hacks is Coincheck, a Japanese crypto exchange. The platform utilized a hot wallet to store crypto keys during the time of the incident, which is less secure and vulnerable to attacks. In this instance, assailants made away with cryptocurrency worth $547 million from the platform’s users’ accounts.
However, more than 30 people have since been arrested for selling said stolen assets. And we are glad to see that the long arm of the law is finally catching up with hackers who try to harm others.
Is it Easier to Recover Crypto Funds Today?
As hackers get better at exploiting system weaknesses on blockchains and crypto platforms, authorities and surveillance agencies haven’t been left behind. Tracking technology is improving, and many system loopholes have been patched. Furthermore, statistics show that around 80% of crypto lost in hacks has been returned.
So if you ever find your account compromised and that your crypto is missing. Don’t worry. There is a big chance you can recover it back if you act quickly. Below we will look at some of the steps you should take to start your recovery process:
1. Check if Your Computer has Malware
Hackers can introduce malware into your computer system to record and transmit your keys and passwords to them. So if you ever find your crypto is missing, there is a good chance that malware is responsible. Scan your device and ensure you clean your hard drive to prevent it from happening again.
2. Contact Your Bank
If your crypto account has transnational charges connected to your bank, inform them that the transaction was fraudulent and freeze any more transactions. This might not do much to help you with your lost funds, but it will protect you from losing more from your other accounts.
3. Follow the Crypto
The beauty of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology is that transitions are recorded on a ledger and form an easy-to-trace chain. They are also digital assets that can only exist on the blockchain and are not easy to hide.
4. Hire a Forensic Cryptographer
A cryptographer will help you follow the digital footprints of your stolen cryptocurrency so you can recover it.
Cryptocurrency Field Has Become More Secure
As crypto hacks have advanced, so has our skills of tracing and recovering stolen tokens. Furthermore, technologies such as cold storage and software wallets have improved and made it harder for hacks to access crypto. In addition, the high recovery rate of lost funds and the arrest of perpetrators has discouraged many hackers, making crypto more secure.
So if you’re thinking of investing in crypto but have doubts about the security, don’t. Even though the news might paint things as grim, they are certainly getting better, and you will be safe if you follow good online etiquette.