According to a recent report by SlowMist since 2012 hacking attacks have caused the cryptocurrency sector to suffer significant losses totaling more than $30 billion. The largest losses which is a whopping $10.95 billion or more than 30% of the overall losses were suffered by centralized exchanges.
Hacks and Exploits
The report shows that between 2012 and 2023 118 attacks specifically targeted exchanges. The most severe breaches were in 2021 which contributed to overall losses of roughly $ 5 billion. In comparison throughout the same time period hackers were only able to steal less than $ 1 billion from blockchains and cryptocurrency wallets.
NFTs, Bridge Breaches, and Bull Markets
About $ 200 million in losses were experienced by the non-fungible token (NFT) market mostly as a result of phishing links and social engineering techniques . On the other hand a little bit more than $ 2 billion in money were taken as a result of bridge breaches. It is noteworthy that during bull market cycles hackers regularly targeted exchanges and took advantage of heightened market activity and possible weaknesses.
Ethereum and BNB Chain Most Impacted
According to SlowMist’s report the Ethereum and BNB Chain ecosystems have been the primary targets of attackers. Ethereum experienced a staggering 217 hacks which resulted in losses of around $ 3.1 billion. Meanwhile BNB Chain suffered losses totaling $ 1.45 billion through 162 exploits . The EOS ecosystem experienced fewer attacks but still suffered losses of $ 25.9 million. Solana and Polygon faced relatively fewer hacks but lost $202.7 million and $ 177.9 million. The Avalanche network experienced eight exploitations, resulting in a cumulative loss of $ 127.7 million.
Additional Networks and “Other” Scenarios
The report also contains information on attacks that targeted the Heco, Fantom, Tron and Polkadot networks. Less than 50 assaults totaled across these networks and resulted in losses of under $200 million. The remaining $10.9 billion in stolen money is classified as “Other” which includes social engineering, phishing, rug pulling and other frauds .