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Scammers and Hackers Grapple with Decreased Inflows, But $10 Billion Stolen Overall | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

The year 2022 witnessed an unprecedented surge in crypto heists, with more than $3.5 billion worth of cryptocurrencies falling victim to scams and hacks. However, 2023 has seen a stark departure from this trend, as the once-thriving realm of crypto crime faces a significant decline in inflows. Nevertheless, the staggering sum of pilfered funds from crypto heists continues to make waves in the industry.

Recent data unveiled by AltIndex.com has revealed that despite the slowdown in crypto-related criminal activities, the cumulative value of stolen funds stands at a jaw-dropping $10 billion and counting.

The saga of cryptocurrency theft has unfolded over the span of six years, witnessing a dramatic progression from a mere 15 reported hacks in 2017 to a staggering 136 incidents in 2021, as outlined in Comparitech’s comprehensive dataset. The monetary value of the looted cryptocurrencies surged eightfold during this period, skyrocketing from approximately $324 million to an astonishing $2.7 billion. A single month, August 2021, witnessed a loss of nearly $730 million to crypto security breaches. A substantial chunk of this sum, $610 million, was purloined by an individual in the infamous Poly Network heist—an event that would go down in history as the second-largest crypto hack.

However, the preceding year took the crypto crime narrative to unprecedented heights, with a cumulative haul by crypto scammers and hackers surpassing the sums amassed in 2019, 2020, and 2021 combined.

The pages of history recorded a staggering 192 crypto heists in the tumultuous year of 2022—a record-breaking figure that sent shockwaves through the crypto market. This tumultuous period saw hackers ransack an astronomical $3.54 billion from the coffers of investors. Thankfully, this unsettling trend witnessed a gradual deceleration in 2023, with crypto criminals managing to siphon off a comparatively modest sum of around $905 million over the course of eight months. This total stands at less than one-third of the loot amassed during the corresponding period in the previous year.

The annals of crypto crime have chronicled an astounding 718 reported heists, with miscreants making off with a staggering $10.2 billion in cryptocurrency holdings. Astonishingly, only a fraction—equivalent to one-fifth—of the stolen assets, amounting to $2.6 billion, has been successfully recovered. The average duration for these recovery efforts hovers around 75 days.

The month of July painted a grim picture, marking a new high for crypto heists with a total of 43 incidents—historically the highest number in a single month. Even as 2023 witnessed a precipitous drop in the overall value of stolen cryptocurrencies, the prevalence of crypto heists remains alarmingly high.

A survey of crypto crime data since 2011 unveils a disconcerting trend: 70% of the 718 heists took place within the last three years. In the year 2021, 136 crypto heists were reported, marking a 2.5-fold increase over the previous year’s count. The upward spiral continued into 2022, witnessing a staggering 199 incidents—a new pinnacle in the chronicles of crypto crime.

Despite the comparatively modest haul of $905 million in the first eight months of 2023, the year saw the second-highest number of crypto crime incidents, totaling 178. An alarming quarter of these reported heists occurred in July alone, marking it as the direst month for crypto crime on record.


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