Web3 projects lost more than $2 billion in 2023 to hacks, rug pulls and phishing scams, according to the blockchain security firm Beosin.
In a new annual report, the crypto security firm notes 191 major attacks this year resulted in roughly $1.397 billion in losses, 267 rug pulls caused $388 million in losses, and phishing scams stole $238 million.
Rug pulls generally refer to events when developers promote a new cryptocurrency project to investors and sell affiliated tokens, then withdraw the funds raised during the token sales and disappear.
Beosin says 68% of the 191 major hacks targeted decentralized finance (DeFi) projects. Those DeFi hacks resulted in $408 million worth of losses, 29.2% of the total stolen in attacks this year. The firm also notes that 51.8% of the total stolen funds remained in hacker addresses.
“Hackers adopted intricate money laundering methods, utilizing cross-chain transfers and dispersing funds across multiple addresses, posing challenges for investigations by both project teams and regulators.”
Total losses across hacks, rug pulls and phishing scams are down nearly 54% this year compared to 2022, though Beosin notes that offline crypto crime witnessed a huge increase in 2023.
“Global crypto crime losses reached $65.68 billion in 2023, up about 377% from $13.76 billion in 2022. The top three crime types by losses were illegal gambling, money laundering and scam.”
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