According to new data, incidents of crypto hacking are up 27.66 per cent from 2021 and continue to climb. 

A 10-year view of crypto hacks led by CoinJournal has uncovered the concerning upward trajectory of crypto-based fraud. The results have now formed part of its recently-published Crypto Fraud report.

The decade-long data considers all major breaches since 2012. It reveals the significant year-on-year (YoY) increases in crypto fraud, as well as the most badly-affected countries.

Annus horribilis 

The report ranks 2022 as the worst year of the decade for crypto hacks. As indicated by the data, the year incurred 120 separate incidents of hacks. This is 26 more incidents than the previous year, which equates to a 27.66 per cent increase.

Combined, these attacks managed to seize a total of nearly $2.28billion (£1.87billion). It remains unclear how much of this figure was recovered. However, this figure fails to correspond with the Crypto Presales data, which suggests that crypto hacks cost the market in 2022 a much higher price of $3.5billion.

Likewise, previous figures from BestBrokers put the YoY increase for 2022 crypto hacks at 206 per cent.

Despite discrepancies between sources, delving further into the CoinJournal data paints an equally as concerning retrospect of crypto hacks.

Pursuit and perseverance 

The three years prior to 2022 confirm the increasing threat of these attacks. 2021 ranked second place for the rate of attacks; with 94 confirmed incidents seizing just over $4.9billion (£4.03billion) in assets.

Thus, 2021 data recognises a 203.23 per cent YoY increase from the year prior. Speaking of which, 2020 ranked third for crypto hacks. During this year, 31 confirmed attacks generated $1.58billion (£1.3billion) in stolen funds, marking itself as a 19.23 per cent increase from 2019.

As expected, it was this year that CoinJournal ranks in fourth place for crypto hacks. Its data indicated that 26 incidents made away with $3.71billion (£3.05billion) during 2019. Overall, this registers 2019 as experiencing a 73.33 per cent YoY increase in the number of attacks; according to CoinJournal.

Elsewhere, the report lists 2013, 2018, 2017 and 2012 (in that order) in the rankings for the number of crypto hacks. Above all, these figures suggest that the problem of crypto hacks has become more pronounced as both the decade and the industry progressed.

Additional findings

In regards to the report’s additional findings, CoinJournal confirms decentralised finance (DeFi) breaches as the most common manifestation of crypto attacks. Accordingly, 2022 was plagued by this form of breach which struck no less than 80 times; accounting for two-thirds of all incidents.

The second most common type of crypto attack was common fraud, with 36 frauds occurring in 2022, an increase of over 140 per cent from 2021. The biggest fraud of 2022 was worth £53,940,000.

The United States is the most commonly targeted country, with 13 hacks and breaches since 2011. The most recent was in July 2020 when hackers got into verified Twitter accounts and launched a fake donation campaign.

The most costly crypto scam was by Plus Token, where almost $3billion worth of Bitcoin and Ethereum (ETH) was stolen.

BSC was the most stolen coin in 2022, with the currency being stolen a total of 50 times. This was a 72 per cent increase from 2021 when it was stolen just 29 times. The second most commonly stolen coin was ETH at 33 times.

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