Group-ib: In a Year and a Half, Hackers Stole $882 Million From Cryptocurrency Exchanges


Experts from Group-ib, a company specialized in cybersecurity, said that in 2017 and the first 9 months of 2018, hackers broke into 14 cryptocurrency exchanges and caused damage of $882 million.

Five of the 14 trading platforms (Yapizon, Coinis, YouBit , Bithumb, Coincheck) were attacked by North Korean hackers from the Lazarus group.

Experts noted that attackers often use targeted phishing to attack crypto exchanges and ICO projects. For example, they send fake resumes with an infected document.

In the case of the five hacked crypto exchanges after phishing, the Lazarus group conducted a reconnaissance of the local network. Hackers were looking for servers that were working with private wallets sites.

“At the beginning of 2018, the attention of hackers to crypto exchanges only increased, so we expect such groups as Silence, MoneyTaker and Cobalt to conduct several successful hacks, ” said Group-ib experts.

The report also notes that in 2017, cyber fraudsters took over 10% of all investments attracted during the ICO. Group-ib experts added that one unnamed large group stole about $1 million investment per month. However, analysts claim that the organizers of the ICO themselves caused the greatest damage – 80% of the projects did not fulfill their obligations to investors and disappeared after fundraising.

In 2018, analysts recorded several cases of theft of information from ICO-investors for the purpose of its further sale or blackmail. It is noted that recently, among the fraudsters, the abduction of white paper of another project is gaining popularity.

Group-ib said that in 2019 crypto exchanges will become a new target for more “aggressive hacker groups” attacking banks, and the number of targeted attacks on the sites will only increase.

According to a report by CipherTrace, the damage from the hacking of bitcoin exchanges and trading platforms in the first nine months of 2018 alone amounted to $927 million.