Is your Bitcoin safe? Here are 5 biggest cryptocurrency thefts in the past year
BusinessToday.In April 13, 2018
In a big shock to bitcoin investors, India's major cryptocurrency exchange, Coinsecure, on Saturday said that bitcoins worth over Rs 19 crore (3 million) were stolen from the online wallet. Total 438.318 bitcoins were stolen during the alleged hack. The company in its statement on its website said that "our bitcoin funds have been exposed and seem to have been siphoned out to an address that is outside our control." According to Coindesk, over $490 million were flushed out of the cryptocurrency market due to wallet hacks in 2017 alone. The report says so far, none of the perpetrators of these crimes have been brought to book.
On January 26, a Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinheck Inc was hacked and around $500 million worth of cryptocurrency NEM was stolen with no trace of the accused. The company neither owned up to the security lapse nor accepted that it was an inside job. Since transactions for all cryptocurrencies, including NEM and bitcoin, are stored in an open ledger system, the company identified around 11 addresses that could have been responsible for the hack. However, the worst part is - nobody could identify who owned these accounts as there's no way to find out the real identity of cryptocurrency owners on blockchain.
Parity wallet freeze in November 2017 ($275 million)
One of the biggest hacks of 2017, Parity wallet, professionally developed by Parity Technologies, a VC-funded UK-based company, was hacked not by some Trojan or malicious party but a Parity user who accidently found a bug in the system and blocked cryptocurrency ethereum worth over $275 million. The funds could not be recovered and several questions were imposed on the security of cryptocurrencies worldwide.
Italy's BitGrail hacked in February 2018 ($170 million)
An Italian cryptocurrency exchange BitGrail said on February 11 that around $195 million worth of cryptocurrency Nano was lost due to an online hack. The crypto-exchange was the first one to start trading in Nano, earlier known as RaiBlocks. Around 17 million Nano tokens were stolen. Some people even called it an 'exit scam' as some suspicious moves were observed on the part of the company. Before the hack, BitGrail announced that it would neither accept nor allow withdrawal of some cryptocurrencies, including Nano. Some other measures like the imposition of anti-money laundering norms and the restriction on non-Europeans on the platform also raised questions over the authenticity of the hack.
Bitcoin heist at NiceHash in December 2017 ($63 million)
Bitcoin mining marketplace NiceHash in December said that hackers stole nearly $63m in Bitcoins from the company. NiceHash head of marketing Andrej P Skraba had said that it was a highly professional attack with sophisticated social engineering. However, later it was found the hackers were able to steal 4,700 bitcoins worth over $63 million by logging in an insider's credentials. The company co-founder Marko Kobal had stepped down as the company chief executive officer after the incident.
Payment and shipment startup CoinDash, which manages, tracks, and analyse your crypto assets, was hacked during the ICO raising last year. The start could only raise $7.3 million before it noticed that all funds were being diverted to a different account. After the hack, the company promised to provide token ward (value in cryptocurrency) to those who had donated the funds. Total $10 million were stolen in the hack.