Cryptocurrencies are secure because they are decentralized and because of there underlying technology. If somebody hacks your wallet its mostly because of something you did or the way you use your wallet. The same cannot be said about the crypto exchanges. They are centralised and that means they are always a target for hackers (easy untraceable money).
In the past 2019 we saw a lot of hacking incidents involving crypto exchanges.
Here are the 5 most significant in 2019:
- The first in the list is the exchange Cryptopia.
At the start of 2019, the first big hack for the year happened in New Zealand.
The exchange lost around $2.45 million in ETH and around 48 million CENNZ tokens that were worth around $1.19 million (all the prices are at the time of the hack) bringing it to around $3.64 million. There were no technical details revealed of the attack and is still a mystery to this day what exactly happen. The exchange attempted to restore trading, but never make it.
- The largest exchange to be hacked so far: Binance
One of the biggest news in 2019 was the Binance hack.
It took place in May 2019. The breach in the exchange was result of malware and phishing attacks. This resulted in theft of around $41 million (7000 BTC).
Despite the big theft Binance managed to return all stolen money to its clients without negative consequences. Even there token BNB didn’t reduce its prices after announcing the breach. Binance recovered after the hack and its considered to be the biggest exchange in the world at the moment.
The largest cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea, Bithumb, also experienced a hacking atack in May 2019. The attack resulted in around $19 million stolen, although it was quite different from other attacks on this list. In months that followed, the attack was ascribed to an insider, which may have led many to question their trust in centralized exchanges.
Fortunately, the hack differs in another way, which is the fact that all of the stolen funds came from the exchange’s own reserves. In other words, no Bithumb clients had their own funds stolen.
CoinBene started seeing problems back in March of 2019. The exchange noticed that the funds were mysteriously leaving its hot wallet, which was very much concerning to analysts and customers alike. The concerns were even greater due to the fact that the platform was down for maintenance, which is a usual post-hack thing to do.
The exchange assured its users that nothing had happened, although it remained down for an entire month. Meanwhile, the funds definitely went missing, but nothing else is known, including how much was stolen.
- GateHub wallet
In June 2019, when the crypto bull run was reaching its climax, XRP Ledger wallet provider, GateHub, announced that as much as $10 million in XRP was stolen. According to the announcement, the attackers somehow managed to gain access to the funds by targeting the wallet’s API.
However, there was seemingly no flaw in the API itself, and all access tokens were perfectly valid. The attack still remains a mystery to this day, but it highlighted the issues surrounding visibility introduced by APIs into contemporary systems.