Crypto Crime Persists as Hacks and Scams-min
Press Release

Crypto Crime Persists as Hacks and Scams Claim Over $400M in February

-Crypto criminals run rampant, orchestrating hacks and scams, raking in over $400M in February 2024 alone.

Blockchain platforms and participants suffered steep losses in February 2024 approaching half a billion dollars, reveals on-chain analyst Quantstamp. Various breach vectors allowed criminals to steal $411.7 million in digital assets across scams, contract exploits, and wallet hacks presenting the urgent need for enhanced web3 security practices.

The largest single chunk of $333 million was derived from direct crypto wallet attacks compromising private keys and seed phrases granting access to user funds. Even industry veterans fell victim as co-founder of gaming platform Axie Infinity, Jeff Zirlin, lost $9.5 million in Ethereum across personal wallets.

Deceptive schemes collectively known as “rug pulls” accounted for another $69.5 million swindled from communities. These elaborate scams convince users to invest in phantom projects with convincing promotional materials and seeming legitimacy. Yet creators ultimately withdraw all liquidity and disappear once reaching deposit milestones at the expense of hoodwinked depositors.

Smart contracts containing flaws and backdoors enabled the stealing of $8.9 million more through relentless exploitations. Attackers repeatedly trigger vulnerable code like flash loan functions to drain funds or manipulate token balances not locked down securely in contracts.

With billions lost in 2023 alone and geopolitical tensions rising alongside adoption, Quantstamp and other analysts urge developers to prioritize web3 security through best practice training and auditing around releasing financial applications. Some optimism shines through however as blockchain forensics firm Chainalysis reported a 29% decrease in cryptocurrency laundering via sanctioned privacy mixers.

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