Blockchain hackers steal assets worth almost $3.8bn

Blockchain hackers stole nearly $3.78 billion in 122 attacks in 2020, but the number of attacks actually fell for the first time in five years.

Last year's attacks accounted for almost a third (33 per cent) of the all-time number of successful hacks aimed at the fledgling technology, according to the numbers collected by Slowmist Hacked, which aggregates information about disclosed attacks aimed at blockchain projects, apps and tokens.

Monetary losses were calculated based on the 12 January 2021 conversation rates for tokens, when their values were generally much higher than their actual worth when they were stolen last year.

Ethereum (ETH) DApps, decentralised applications based on the Ethereum smart contract, were the most frequently breached blockchain target.

In 2020, there were 47 successful attacks aimed at ETH DApps, which cost victims a total of over $436 million, or around $9.2 million per hack.

Cryptocurrency exchanges, businesses that allow their clients to trade crypto to other assets, were also highly targeted last year, said Slowmist Hacked.

In 2020, there were 28 cryptocurrency exchange breaches, which together amounted to over $300 million, or about $11 million per attack.

Third on the list, in terms of attack numbers, were blockchain wallets - digital wallets that allow crypto holders to store their cryptocurrencies.

Last year, hackers launched 27 successful attacks aimed at crypto wallets, stealing $3 billion - the highest total - or around $112 million per hack.

Overall, the number of attacks last year fell from 133 in 2019 to 122 in 2020 - the first fall in five years, Slowmist Hacked said.

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