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More than $500 million stolen in the first quarter of 2024

The first quarter of 2024 has proven to be a difficult period for the cryptocurrency sector. Cybercriminals seized a huge sum. $502.52 million was stolen following 223 blockchain security incidents.

This number represents a 54% increase from the same period in 2023. Total losses are $326 million. Although down slightly from the $522 million lost in the fourth quarter of 2023, the numbers remain alarming.

What tactics did hackers use to steal users' cryptocurrencies?

According to CertiK's report, in January alone, hackers stole $193.1 million in 78 incidents. February and March weren't far behind, with losses totaling $160.4 million and $149 million, respectively, spread across multiple security breaches.

The primary method of theft was private key compromise, which accounted for almost half of the total financial losses. This occurred in only 26 incidents, highlighting the significant impact of these violations.

Additionally, fraudsters have used various methods such as access control hijacking, exit scams, and phishing. These methods have led to significant losses, as exit scams are also known as... Rug prints, was particularly damaging, costing users $68.3 million. Additionally, code vulnerabilities and flash loan attacks resulted in losses of $42.6 million and $37.7 million, respectively.

As Rongwei Gu, co-founder of CertiK, told BeInCrypto:

"The fact that these same types of attacks continue to drain value from the ecosystem is proof that these vulnerabilities are not getting the attention they deserve. It's tough being in the crypto space coins without knowing what an exit or rug pulling scam is, another $68 million due to 34 blatant exit scams in the first quarter, not counting the countless soft rugs of newly launched tokens.

Read more: A guide to safely investing in decentralized finance and managing and minimizing risks

Types of security incidents in the first quarter. Source: Certik
Types of security incidents for the first quarter. Source: Certified

Ethereum is the most affected platform and Chris Larsen is the biggest victim.

Ethereum was the most affected platform, with 131 incidents resulting in $139 million in losses. However, there was a glimmer of hope as $77.9 million was recovered from various incidents, including the Munchables.

One notable hack was the January 30 incident involving Ripple co-founder, Chris Larsen. His XRP wallet was hacked, resulting in the unauthorized transfer (theft) of approximately 213 million XRP, worth approximately $112 million.

This incident has become the largest security breach of 2024, prompting exchanges and law enforcement to take immediate action to trace and freeze stolen assets.

This was followed closely by a breakthrough Munchables In March, hackers stole and then, surprisingly, returned $62.5 million. This act of returning stolen funds highlights the unpredictability and complexity of the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

Read more: Top 10 Tips for Security and Protection of Digital Currencies From theft

Another major incident was a cash register scam BitForex In February, losses totaled $56.5 million. The sudden stop of withdrawals after funds disappeared from hot wallets caused widespread panic and confusion among users.

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