The five largest-ever cryptocurrency hacks

Figures from cryptocurrency analysis company Elliptic, based on the dollar value at time of hack:

  • $325m – Wormhole, February 2022
  • $470m – Mt Gox, February 2014.
  • $532m – Coincheck, January 2018
  • $540m – Ronin Bridge, March 2022.
  • $611m – Poly Network, August 2021

Why does this keep happening?

Experts say cryptocurrency is increasingly being seen as low hanging fruit by hackers.

Cryptocurrency companies are “huge honeypots for hackers”, says Tom Robinson, of Elliptic.

“Crypto transactions are irreversible, so if a hacker can get their hands on it, it’s very difficult for anyone to retrieve it,” he says.

Mr Robinson said it is also attractive because huge pay days are possible without the extra hassle of cybercrime like ransomware, where criminals have to negotiate with hacked companies.

It’s not known who is behind this latest hack, but it is not necessarily cyber-criminals out to make money for themselves. For example, state-sponsored hackers have been identified as the culprits behind some crypto heists.

According to cryptocurrency researchers at Chainalysis, North Korean hackers stole almost $400m (£291m) worth of digital assets in at least seven attacks on cryptocurrency platforms last year.

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