Another Cryptocurrency Gets Hacked. Here are the 30 Biggest Crypto Hacks So Far
NOVEMBER 22, 2017 AT 5:40 AM
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by Wolf Richter, Wolf Street:
Hackers are dogging cryptocurrencies.
It starts with nightmarish messages like this:
Yesterday, we discovered that funds were improperly removed from the Tether treasury wallet through malicious action by an external attacker. Tether integrators must take immediate action, as discussed below, to prevent further ecosystem disruption.
Disappeared: $31 million in tether tokens. This was reported Monday night by Tether, the company behind the cryptocurrency “tether,” with a market capitalization of $673 million, according to CoinMarketCap. The value of tether, pegged to the US dollar continued to hover around $1.
But bitcoin plunged 5% and then recovered. Tether is used is used by bitcoin exchanges in trades with real currencies.
The hack had taken place on November 19, Tether said. The tokens were sent to an “unauthorized bitcoin address.” The company said it’s trying to prevent the stolen tokens from being converted into dollars or enter “the broader ecosystem.”
Sure, there are thefts of all currencies. But there’s a difference. When someone steals money from your bank account by hacking into the bank, the bank is responsible and makes you whole. When someone hacks into a cryptocurrency, no one covers it.
These hacks of cryptocurrencies are just about as old as cryptocurrencies themselves. In June, 2011, a user named ALLINVAIN made off with 25,000 bitcoins, at the time valued at $775,000, today valued at $200 million. It went on from there.
The biggest hack remains Mt. Gox, which at the time was handling 70% of the global bitcoin transactions. The exchange, located in Tokyo, revealed the hack in February 2014. Apparently 650,000 bitcoins ($473 million at the time) had disappeared over a period of several years. At today’s prices, the hack would have amounted to $5.2 billion.
Here are some of the major cryptocurrency hacks:
August 2017, Enigma ICO (Initial Coin Offering) was hacked, 1,500 Ether ($500,000) stolen. Store of Value writes:
The hacker was able to break into Enigma’s website, Slack group, and mailing list and sent fraudulent messages to the project’s community asking for money. This allowed the hacker to gather almost 1,500 Ether (about $500,000). This is despite a previous warning by Enigma that it would not collect money in this way until its ICO in September.
July 2017, Veritaseum’s Ether wallet hacked, about $8 million stolen after its ICO on May 26th. Store of Value:
[O]n July 23rd, Middleton [founder Reggie Middleton of the Boom Bust Blog] claimed in Veritaseum’s Slack group that hackers stole 36,000 VERI tokens out of a wallet held by the company. This is how Middleton described the hack: “The hackers thwarted 2FA, on two different accounts, and finagled 3rd parties security among several other things. They went through quite a bit of effort, alas going through that much effort caused them to leave a bread crumb trail as well. I hate thieves.”
July 2017, Parity Multisig Wallet was hacked, according to ParityTech. “A vulnerability in the Parity Wallet library contract of the standard multi-sig contract has been found,” the company said. Via this vulnerability, hackers drained 153,037 Ether ($32 million) from three multi-signature contracts that were used to store funds from prior ICOs (Swarm City, Edgeless Casino, and æternity).
July 2017, Bithumb, the world’s fourth largest Bitcoin exchange and largest Ether exchange, was hacked, according to Hacker News. Claims “started to surface” that “billions of won” disappeared from compromised accounts at the Korean exchange. At the time, actual loss data remained unclear.
July 2017 (a busy month for cryptocurrency thefts), CoinDash ICO was hacked and 37,000 ether ($7 million) were stolen. Store of Value:
CoinDash is an Israeli startup that conducted an ICO in July of this year to raise funds. However, just 13 minutes into the crowdsale, a hacker was able to change the Ethereum address posted on the ICO’s website. This address is where interested investors should send their Ether to in order to receive CoinDash tokens in return.
October 2016, Bitcurex, a bitcoin trading platform in Poland, suddenly shut down. A few days later, it posted a notice on the otherwise dead site that an update had gone awry and asked customers to be patient. January 2017, the owner of the exchange “disappears,” as the exchange remained shut down and its 2,300 bitcoins ($2.6 million) are gone. Polish authorities started investigating.
August 2016, Bitfinex was hacked again, after its May 2015 hack. This time, 119,756 bitcoins were stolen ($72 million), at the time the second largest heist, after Mt. Gox. The exchange, based in Hong Kong, is the world’s largest dollar-based bitcoin exchange.
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