The Biggest Crypto Heists Of All Time

Crypto robberies have always received special attention from the community. First of all because of the huge amount of money stolen – traditional financial institutions rarely have such large amounts of money stolen. Second, crypto is a nascent market with a small number of participants, so any hack could make the front page of the news.

And yet, the hackers discovered that stealing cryptocurrency is simpler than stealing cash or cryptocurrency in banking systems. As a result, cryptocurrency robberies are also becoming more and more common. Finally, cryptocurrency is often stored in bulk, and can be transferred instantly and completely anonymously from anywhere, as long as you have the private key or cryptography, making it it accidentally becomes a delicious bait for hackers.

Below, we take a look at the biggest crypto heists of all time. The article will also explain why cryptocurrency exchanges keep getting hacked; why crypto robberies are getting bolder; and what we can do to protect ourselves from hackers.

The Biggest Crypto Heists in History

1. MT Gox

MT Gox was the first large-scale exchange hack, and by far the most massive bitcoin (BTC) heist from an exchange. Notably, the MT Gox robbery didn’t just take place at a single time, but the money was leaked from 2011 until February 2014.

Hackers stole 100,000 BTC from MT Gox exchange, and 750,000 BTC from users of this exchange in less than 3 years. The amount of BTC that was robbed was worth $470 million at the time, but now they have increased by approximately 10 times. Shortly after the robbery, the MT Gox exchange was liquidated, and the liquidators recovered nearly 200,000 stolen BTC.

2. Bitgrail

Bitgrail is a small Italian exchange that specializes in exotic cryptocurrencies like Nano (XNO). This exchange was hacked in February 2018, when the price of XNO increased from a few cents to 33 USD. At least 17 million coins (approximately $150 million) were stolen from Nano wallets.

Many users expressed dissatisfaction with Bitgrail before the attack (mainly because of restrictions related to withdrawal and transaction limits). According to investigators, the coins were stolen from cold wallets – not hot wallets. And after 3 years of investigation, the Italian authorities have now concluded that the owner of the Bitgrail exchange is the one behind the attack!

3. Coincheck

Coincheck, based in Japan, had $530 million worth of NEM (XEM) tokens stolen in January 2018. The hackers took advantage of the fact that the cryptocurrency is stored in a hot wallet, which means that the wallet is connected to a server and is online (instead of a cold wallet that is stored offline).

NEM developers have identified and flagged the stolen coins, despite speculation that they are currently on the black market.

However, considering that the value of the NEM coin has plummeted after the attack, the robbers probably also had to shake their heads when they did not get much (the current coin has lost 83% of its value compared to the previous year). $90 million at the time of the ha


4. KuCoin

In September 2020, KuCoin announced that hackers had obtained the private keys of hot wallets owned by them, before withdrawing to their wallets coins including Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC). ), Ripple (XRP), Stellar Lumens (XLM), Tron (TRX), and Tether (USDT). Experts say they have good reason to believe that the hackers who carried out the robbery came from North Korea.

5. PancakeBunny

The flash loan attack, in which hackers stole $200 million from the platform, occurred in May 2021 and is one of the deadliest crypto heists in history. The hackers borrowed a large amount of Binance Coin (BNB) before manipulating its price and selling it on PancakeBunny’s BUNNY/BNB marketplace to carry out the attack.

This allows the hacker to collect a large amount of BUNNY through flash loans, then sell all the BUNNY to lower its price, and then return the BNB with PancakeSwap.

6. Poly Network

In August 2021, hackers took advantage of a vulnerability in Poly Network’s infrastructure and stole more than 600 million USD worth of assets. However, they did not escape, and contacted the platform and agreed to refund most of the money, minus 33 million USD in Tether (USDT) that was frozen by the issuer.

But it didn’t stop there: $200 million worth of stolen assets were locked in an account that required a hacker’s password to open. The hacker initially refused to hand over the stolen crypto.

It was not until Poly Network “bargained” with them, accepting to pay them $ 500,000 in bonuses for discovering system errors, and even giving them a foot in the company, that the problem was solved. Poly Network later revealed that the person who gave them the private key was a hacker nicknamed “Mr. White Hat”.

7. Cream Finance

In 2021, Cream Finance was attacked by hackers three times: the first time in February, losing 37 million USD; the second in August, losing $19 million; and the third, the heaviest, in October, lost $130 million in crypto.

In the latest attack, the hacker took advantage of a flaw in the DeFi platform’s instant lending system. On the Ethereum network, they have “stealed” all of Cream Finance’s tokens and assets, estimated at 130 million USD.

8. BadgerDAO

A hacker successfully stole from multiple crypto wallets on the DeFi BadgerDAO network in December 2021. The problem is said to have started on November 10, when a piece of malicious code was inserted into the user interface of the website.

Thanks to this piece of code, users’ transactions were interfered with. And the attacker took away 896 BTC, worth almost $50 million at the time.

9. Vulcan Forged

In December 2021, hackers stole $135 million from Vulcan Forged, a blockchain game startup. They stole the private keys of 96 user wallets before taking all 4.5 million PYR tokens from them.

10. Bitmart

In December 2021, Bitmart’s hot wallet was hacked, causing the exchange to lose about 200 million USD. Initially, it was thought that only $100 million was stolen via the Ethereum blockchain, but a later investigation discovered a further $96 million was stolen via the Binance Smart Chain blockchain.

More than 20 tokens were stolen, including many altcoins such as BSC-USD, Binance Coin (BNB), BNBBPay (BPay), and Safemoon, along with a handful of Moonshot (MOONSHOT), Floki Inu (FLOKI), and BabyDoge (BabyDoge).

How to avoid being scammed when investing in crypto?

One of the best ways to protect your crypto investment: secure your wallet, and do your own research on projects on the market.

First of all, don’t believe anything other people tell you. Instead, evaluate all the relevant information on the investment for yourself, especially if it seems too good to be true, or promises large returns in a short period of time. Also, don’t trust anyone who tries to contact you privately – whether it’s a government official, a celebrity, or a stranger – and offers you to pay your Bitcoins or “keys” for a “Investment Opportunities”.

When possible, enable two-step verification in your crypto wallet and on the exchange you are using. Don’t reveal to anyone your private key or seed phrase, and always keep that information in an offline cold wallet (perhaps a piece of paper).

Carefully check the URLs of the websites. For example, when trying to cheat, crooks will try to copy the URL of a website and replace the characters or numbers in that URL, like changing “I” to “1” or changing the number “0” to the character ” O”. And yet, any investment opportunity that requires you to pay a deposit upfront is a scam, big or small, especially if you have to pay in crypto.

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