• By: Allen Brown

The Biggest Crypto Hacks and How to Protect Your Crypto Against CyberAttacks

Cryptocurrencies are a decentralized and unregulated digital currency powered by blockchain technology. Because they are unregulated, anybody with the right tools and skills can create, issue, and trade using crypto. As a result, hundreds of different coins have been released to the public, with the most popular ones including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, and Stella.

Most people use crypto for buying and selling items online, especially when they want to remain anonymous. Others use it for online gaming when buying in-game objects and skins or placing wagers in online casinos. Another common use of cryptocurrencies is when investing, where people purchase a coin, wait for its value to increase, then sell it to earn profits.

While it’s obvious crypto has a wide range of uses, it tends to attract the attention of more than just business minded people. Malicious actors take advantage of the decentralized and unregulated nature to launch attacks on crypto exchanges and platforms powered by the blockchain. As a result, over $3 billion has been stolen through crypto hacks, with multiple companies shutting down and more people losing confidence in their digital assets.

FTX Exchange Sees Outflows of Over $400M

In one of the most outrageous crypto hacks in history, FTX exchange was attacked by bad actors in 2022, leading them to lose over $400 million. As an attempt to enforce damage control, the site’s officials took to telegram to instruct users not to install new upgrades and to delete their existing FTX apps. They stated that these apps contained malware in the form of Trojans, which could corrupt users’ wallets and make them vulnerable to hackers.

As more and more FTX exchange users reported $0 balances, the company had to move some digital assets to cold storage and file for bankruptcy. Later, FTX’s API went down as Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, and Solana tokens were moved from various wallets to decentralized exchanges like 1inch. Since the firm was already involved in a user fund misappropriation scandal, people speculate that the attack was an inside job, but no one has ever claimed responsibility.

How A Pokemon NFT Hacker Got Away With Millions

Anyone into crypto gaming knows Pokemon-based NFT battler Axie Infinity as one of the biggest success stories in online gaming. That was until it suffered one of the biggest scams in the history of blockchain technology, where a hacker used an Axie Infinity exploit to target the company. As a result of this attack, around $600m worth of digital assets was drained from the Ronin Network, which powered the game.

A report released by the company on its Substack claimed that on March 23rd 2022, hackers stole 173,600 Ethereum tokens and 25.5M USDC in two different transactions. They later discovered that this attack was caused when the Axie DAO validator nodes and Ronin’s validator nodes were compromised. In response to this, Ronin decided to lock down players’ accounts as it continued investigations, meaning no one could sell the token even as its value continued to plummet.

Crypto Casino Stake.com $40M Heist

Since online gambling was launched in Ontario in April 2022, online casinos have handled hundreds of thousands in funds deposited for wagering. Of all this money, Canadians have spent crypto worth over $50m in online gaming, making it a popular payment method and, as such, a prime target for scammers. 

That’s why it’s not surprising that one of the most memorable crypto hacks was aimed at a fully crypto-based casino called Stake.com. During this heist, hackers stole over $40m from the players’ Ethereum (ETH) and Binance Smart Chain (BSC) hot wallets.

In the crypto landscape, hot wallets are more vulnerable than cold wallets because anyone on the internet can access their private and public keys. If you’re not playing in one of the safe online casinos in Ontario, hackers can then use the keys to gain remote access to your account and perform unauthorized activities. Unfortunately for Stake.com, this was what happened to their company, but the officials refused to reveal more details about this hack.

How to Keep your Funds Secure and Avoid Crypto Hacks

It’s quite interesting how cryptocurrencies, popular for their anonymity, security, and decentralization, keep getting hacked and burgled. Sadly, that’s the reality of how dangerous technology can be in the wrong hands, and it’s why you should always be vigilant to avoid getting your account drained during crypto hacks. One of the best ways to protect your crypto from cyberattacks is to use a cold, or hardware, storage as it holds a private key used to access funds in a physical space that you can store safely.

When it comes to online gaming, ensure you play on reputable sites by going through reviews and feedback. With these, you can learn if an operator has been involved in any crypto hack before and steer clear of it as it’s a sign that it might not have the right safety measures. Besides this, you can keep your crypto safe by separating your gaming crypto from your personal wallet so as to minimize your risk.

Another reliable way to secure crypto is to avoid using public WiFi when accessing your crypto accounts. Further, you should use a VPN to route your traffic via various servers, hiding your device’s IP address and location. Lastly, keep your crypto-centered apps up to date by installing the latest updates as they usually contain patches for vulnerabilities identified on previous versions of the software.