Japan’s National Police Agency (NPA) has just released reports that 2017 saw over $6.2 million loss in crypto assets either through fraud or theft. Do note; this report does not include the recent (late January 2018) massive Coincheck hack that resulted in $550 million loss in NEM tokens.
Nikkei, a local news outlet made this information public along with the statistics that around 16 digital currency exchanges and 3 digital wallets were the victims of all the crypto related hacks that went on in 2017. However, official names of the companies were not disclosed.
Furthermore, the report adds that stealing bitcoins was the main agenda of the malefactors and around 85 bitcoins were compromised during this time. Closely following bitcoins, around 55 XRP(Ripple) coins were stolen along with 13 other altcoins.
The NPA cited that in total there were 149 individual cases of “unauthorized access” to crypto accounts and in around 80% of those instances, i.e., in 122 cases, the wallets were not reinforced with “two-factor authentication.”
The fraudsters and thieves only needed a user ID and its respective password to gain access to an individual’s crypto funds, something which is too simple in this current day and age. This definitely puts to question the security measures that are being practiced by all these digital asset exchanges.
NPA’s statistics also show that the number of hacks per month increased parallelly with an increase in the price of bitcoins. April of 2017 saw only 9 attempts of “unauthorized account access attempts” which rose to 19 in May and scaled up to 41 by June.
Finally, we have information that there were around 425 cases of illegal crypto transfers to fiat currency accounting to only ¼ of the amount NPA noted in 2014. This shows that the criminals are holding on to their share of the digital currencies.