As per the Atlas VPN research published on January 12, 2021, the blockchain-related attacks that occurred last year caused huge losses of $3.8 billion to victims.
These numbers are based on data offered by the Slowmist Hacked security team and include information about publicly known attacks on blockchain projects, apps, tokens, and cryptocurrency scams. The latter accounted for about 13% of all blockchain-related hack incidents in 2020.
Dapps (decentralized applications) running on Ethereum had suffered 47 attacks with a current value of $443.6 million, followed by cryptocurrency exchanges with 28 attacks (losses of $300.1 million).
Crypto wallets had suffered 27 attacks and were the most profitable target for the hackers, losing $3.03 billion. They also had the largest average stolen assets value - 112 million per attack, while each attack on dapps or exchanges is about $10 million ($9.28 million and $10.72 million, respectively).
Last year, there were 12 successful attacks on the blockchains themselves, bringing the hackers $5.91 million or $492,517 per breach. The most famous example may be a series of 51% attacks on the Ethereum Classic network.
There were only a few attacks on dapps based on Tron and EOS blockchains; each time only three dapps were compromised. Nevertheless, for Tron, the amount of these attacks is as high as $10 million, or about $3.33 million per hacker attack; and for EOS-related vulnerabilities, the amount of these attacks is as high as $2.85 million, or an average of $9,416.
However, the values in the study are exaggerated because the monetary loss was calculated based on the conversation rates on January 12, 2021, when Bitcoin changed hands for about $34000 that day. This is compared to the value of cryptocurrency when it was stolen.
For the first time in the past five years, there has been an overall decline in the number of attacks, according to the report. In 2019, there will be 133 coordinated attacks against various blockchain platforms, applications and tokens. By 2020, the number dropped by 8% to 122.
"It is hard to say what the future holds for the blockchain in terms of security. We are only in the middle of January, and two successful attacks, as well as one blackmail case involving cryptocurrency, have already been reported," the report says. "Nevertheless, the numbers are not near the ones recorded in the record-breaking year of 2019, when 31 attacks took place in January alone. Therefore, the breaches may continue to decline in 2021."
And most cryptocurrency exchanges certainly hope so.