September 2023 has gone down in history as the most challenging month for the cryptocurrency world, with a staggering $329.8 million stolen in crypto-related exploits. This unfortunate milestone was reached due to a series of high-profile incidents that rocked the crypto space.
Mixin Network Attack: A $200 Million Breach
One of the most significant contributors to September’s crypto woes was the Mixin Network attack that unfolded on September 23. In this incident, the Hong Kong-based decentralized cross-chain transfer protocol suffered a devastating breach of its cloud service provider, resulting in a staggering loss of $200 million. The attack sent shockwaves throughout the crypto community, highlighting the vulnerability of even well-established platforms.
CoinEx Exchange and Stake.com Under Fire
September also saw two other major attacks that added to the grim total. The CoinEx exchange and Stake.com fell victim to malicious actors, resulting in losses of $53 million and $41 million, respectively. Both of these attacks have been linked to the Lazarus Group, a notorious hacking collective originating from North Korea. The group’s nefarious activities have now garnered them an estimated $45.6 million in crypto assets.
With these incidents, the total losses due to exploits in 2023 have surged to an alarming $925.4 million. July was the second-highest month for exploit losses, with a substantial $285.8 million pilfered.
Exit Scams, Flash Loans, and Phishing Attacks
Exploits were not the only threat faced by the crypto community in September. Exit scams, a recurring issue in the crypto space, led to losses of approximately $1.9 million. Flash loan attacks, a relatively novel form of exploitation, claimed around $400,000. Additionally, phishing attacks, where unsuspecting users are tricked into revealing their private keys, resulted in a loss of another $25 million, according to CertiK.
As a result, the total losses in 2023 due to exploits, scams, and hacks have now reached a staggering $1.34 billion.
Q3 2023: A Quarter Marked by Unprecedented Losses
Blockchain security firm Beosin reported that the losses incurred during the third quarter of 2023, including hacks, phishing scams, and exit scams, amounted to just under $890 million. What’s particularly striking is that these Q3 losses exceeded the combined losses of the first two quarters, which were $330 million in Q1 and $333 million in Q2, as reported by Beosin late last week.
In conclusion, September 2023 will be remembered as a challenging period for the crypto world, marked by a series of significant exploits and losses. The ability of the cryptocurrency community to withstand such challenges will inevitably face scrutiny as security measures adapt and evolve in response to these ongoing threats. As crypto enthusiasts and stakeholders move forward, the lessons learned from these incidents will undoubtedly shape the future of the industry.