Crypto hacks and scams grew by over 150% in Q3 2023: Immunefi report

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Crypto hacks and scams grew by over 150% in Q3 2023: Immunefi report

By Hassan Maishera - min read

Key takeaways

  • The number of crypto hacks and scams surged by 153% in the third quarter of the year.

  • Nearly $700 million was lost to hacks and scams in the last quarter.

Crypto investors lost nearly $700 million to hacks and scams

Blockchain security platform Immunefi published its quarterly industry security report for the third quarter of 2023.

Per the report, crypto and web3 projects recorded a 153% increase in attacks in the quarter that ended September, compared to the same period in 2022. In Q3 2022, there were 30 crypto hacks and scams. 

However, this figure grew to 76 in the third quarter of 2023, with nearly $686 million lost in the process. 

The Mixin hack that took place on September 25 was the most notable, with the attackers stealing roughly $200 million from the platform. Multichain also suffered an attack in the third quarter of the year, resulting in over $126 million in losses that are yet to be recovered. The attack resulted in Multichain ceasing operations in July. 

Lazarus Group leads the way in crypto theft

The Lazarus Group was the most popular attacker in Q3 2023, as it stole over $208 million worth of cryptocurrencies via multiple attacks. The group attacked centralised services CoinEx, Alphapo, Stake, and Coinspaid and was responsible for  30% of all stolen crypto in the previous quarter. 

Immunefi reported that only a small portion of attacks in the last quarter were rug pulls and other scams. Around $23 million was lost to rug pulls and other scams, accounting for only 3.3% of total losses. The report highlighted that funds lost via rug pulls and scams decreased by 23.9% compared to Q2 2022.

Decentralised finance (DeFi) protocols continue to be the target of hackers as they account for roughly 73% of total losses. Centralised services, meanwhile, accounted for around 27% of exploit losses. 

Projects on the Ethereum and BNBChain blockchains remain the primary target of attackers. Ethereum projects accounted for 42.7% of the losses, while BNBChain recorded 30.6%. Q3 2023 is so far the worst quarter of the year in terms of crypto hacks and scams, the report concluded.