The first cryptocurrency Bitcoin was launched in early January 2009, that is, the digital coin industry is currently only 10 years old. A huge number of events have occurred during this relatively short period of time – both positive and negative. In this article, we will talk about not the best pages from the history of the digital industry. So, let us recall the 10 most large-scale hacks of cryptocurrency exchanges, which in total brought to attackers more than 1 billion US dollars.
On January 5, 2015, a fishing attack was committed to the Bitstamp site, which resulted in the kidnapping of 18,866 BTC coins, which at that time were estimated at $5 million. To do it, hackers used personal data of employees of the exchange (email addresses, Skype accounts, etc.). Because of this, the intruders were able to obtain all the necessary data that they needed to hack.
The creators of the Bitstamp site compensated customers for the damage in full and actively engaged in fixing vulnerabilities. It is worth noting that this cryptocurrency exchange operates to this day.
The hacking of this exchange began on July 29, 2014, on this day an unknown hacker was able to inject malicious code into its system. This became known only a year later, as the platform founder Paul Vernon tried to hide the fact of the attack. During this time, about 9.5 million US dollars were lost from the exchange in BTC and LTC.
After this became known to the general public, the Cryptsy site went bankrupt and ended its work. Frustrated customers filed a class-action lawsuit against the exchange. The investigation took more than one year and finally in the summer of 2017, the court rendered its verdict – the founder of the exchange must pay damages to clients in full.
On July 10, 2018, representatives of the Bancor cryptocurrency exchange announced that over 23.5 million US dollars had disappeared from their reserve account. After this news became public, people began to panic, but the Bancor project team claimed that this only concerned their personal reserve, and the users’ wallets were not affected.
The vulnerability was in the wallet that was used to update the smart contract. It should be noted that the guilty were never found, and the Bancor platform continues its work in our time.
This cryptocurrency exchange was subjected to hacker attacks twice. The first case occurred in 2017, it was then that hackers managed to get personal data from over 30 thousand Bithumb clients. Then the exchange compensated the affected users to their full extent. The second, larger incident happened on June 19, 2018. It is worth noting that at that moment the Bithumb platform was in the TOP-10 cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. On that day, the staff noticed that more than $32 million had been stolen from their site. Fortunately, a team of programmers quickly responded, which is why they managed to return $14 million, but unfortunately $18 million was lost forever.
After this strike, the Bithumb playground cannot recover to this day. Now only 30 employees work in the project, although there were 340 of them before hacking.
A small South Korean stock exchange Coinrail was subjected to a hacker attack in June 2018. The daily turnover of trading on this site was only 2.5 million US dollars per day, and hackers managed to steal more than 40 million US dollars.
Representatives of the exchange intend to pay all the losses to their customers. But it is important to understand that now the daily turnover of Coinrail is no more than 10 thousand US dollars. If the project develops at such a pace, customers will have to wait for a full refund for a very long time.
The Japanese stock exchange Zaif was hacked on September 14, 2018, but representatives of the site announced this only a few days later, namely on September 20. Attackers stolen coins totaling $60 million.
At the moment, an investigation is underway, the perpetrators have not been found, and representatives of the exchange promise to return all the money to their clients.
In August 2016, fraudsters managed to hack into the Bitfinex security system. They managed to steal 119,756 bitcoins, which at that time were valued at almost $70 million. Unfortunately, the attackers were never found. The creators of the site took full responsibility for the incident and said that they would return all lost funds to customers. It is worth noting that for some time the site suspended its work, but in 2017 it was launched again.
On February 8, 2018, the Italian cryptocurrency exchange BitGrail was hacked, and NANO coins worth about $195 million were lost from its wallets. Many believe that the founder of the exchange Francesco Firano is directly behind this theft. Immediately after the incident, he stated that there was no way to return the money to users of the site. After that, dissatisfied customers filed a class action against him. Firano’s next statement was diametrically opposite: he stated that he would pay all losses, but only if investors refuse to trial. Most likely, the BitGrail exchange customers did not make a deal, as the litigation continues to this day.
On January 26, 2018, a huge number of NEM tokens for a total cost of $500 million were stolen from the Coincheck exchange. The attackers managed to get personal data of more than 260 thousand users. The creators of the site Coincheck took all the responsibility and fully compensated all losses to their customers. Of course, it was the strongest blow for the project, but the exchange continues its work to this day.
It should be noted that Mt.Gox was the largest exchange at the initial stage of the development of the cryptocurrency industry and it was twice subjected to hacker attacks. The first time it happened on June 19, 2011, more than 2,000 bitcoins were stolen that day.
The second hack plunged all participants in the cryptocurrency market into a real shock, it became known on February 24, 2014. As it turned out, hackers devastated the exchange clients wallets for several years. As a result, they managed to steal more than 844 thousand bitcoins, at that time they were estimated at 510 million dollars (at the current rate this is 4.22 billion dollars).
The exchange has ceased to exist, court proceedings are still ongoing, and the head of the stock exchange, Mark Karpeles is under investigation.
Based on the foregoing, it is possible to make a rather logical conclusion that storing all your cryptocurrency assets on stock exchanges is not a good idea. As practice has shown, even the largest platforms can be subject to hacker attacks. If you do not want to worry about the safety of your own digital coins, then it is better to keep them in cold or hardware wallets.
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