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Hackers hit crypto exchanges for over $2bn in 2022

Technology

The industry’s open-source environment has led it to be targeted aggressively by hackers, says expert.

By Josh Needs 12 minute read

The cryptocurrency industry has been targeted by cyber criminals with hackers stealing over $2 billion from crypto exchanges in 2022. 

Since 2012 at least 47 cryptocurrency exchanges have suffered from major hacks forcing them to shut down, according to cryptocurrency education platform HedgewithCrypto. 

The platform said in 2019 alone a record number of 19 crypto exchanges were compromised by hackers, with businesses and individuals warned to be alert to fraudulent activity with the number of dishonest actors looking to take advantage only increasing. 

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The high commodity value and lack of regulation have meant that cryptocurrency exchanges and the digital currency industry are prime targets for cyber criminals to exploit. 

While the open-source environment has allowed the industry to be successful it has also made it appealing to hackers wanting to test potential breaches, according to HedgewithCrypto. 

The platform said the most common way crypto exchanges and sites had been hacked was through social engineering. 

This occurs when a hacker emails a known cryptocurrency owner with a message that appears to be from their crypto exchange, urging them to log into their account. 

The email includes a link that when clicked takes the target to a replica login page and when the owner enters their login details they are instead provided to the hacker. 

HedgewithCrypto founder Kevin Groves said those participating in crypto needed to take additional precautions as cyber criminals have an increased focus on the industry and looking for easy targets. 

The first of Mr Groves’s tips for keeping safe while using cryptocurrency was to use a digital currency wallet. 

“It is crucially important to remain vigilant and utilise best practices for securing your passwords and accounts at all times,” he said. 

“Do your research and find a safe, reputable hardware wallet where you can safely store your crypto gains. Remember, never leave funds on a centralised exchange and always move them to a safe storage place.” 

He also advised users to ensure the exchange they are using carries out regular security audits. 

“This is a perfect way to identify any loopholes,” said Mr Groves. 

“Crypto exchanges can schedule frequent audits of their cyber security measures to ensure their systems are updated and equipped with the latest security measures to make sure there is no stone left unturned.” 

The final tip he provided which should be heeded by anyone conducting any monetary process online was to avoid using public WiFi. 

“Never use public WiFi to access your cryptocurrency exchange or accounts,” Mr Groves said. 

“If you can, use a VPN to hide your location and IP address. This will ensure your online activity is private and secure making it harder for hackers to access your data.”


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Josh Needs

Josh Needs

AUTHOR

Josh Needs is a journalist at Accountants Daily and SMSF Adviser, which are the leading sources of news, strategy, and educational content for professionals in the accounting and SMSF sectors.

Josh studied journalism at the University of NSW and previously wrote news, feature articles and video reviews for Unsealed 4x4, a specialist offroad motoring website. Since joining the Momentum Media Team in 2022, Josh has written for Accountants Daily and SMSF Adviser.

You can email Josh on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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