Net losses from crypto theft down sharply in Q1 2023 at $322M: Report

Crypto hackers and scammers made off with $452 million in the first quarter of 2023, according to a report released by antivirus and app provider De.Fi. But that is good and bad news, as losses were down from $1.3 billion in the first quarter of 2022. The recovery rate was down too, however.

According to the report, nearly half of the losses this quarter ($215 million) took place in the first three weeks of March. The Euler Finance and Bonq DAO exploits were the quarter’s loss leaders at $196 million and $120 million, respectively. Due to them, the Ethereum blockchain suffered the highest losses, even though Binance outnumbered them with 18 incidents to ten on Ethereum.

The CoinDeal scheme trailed at $45 million in third place, and the Monkey Drainer phishing scammers came in fourth at $16.5 million.

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In the 49 cases examined in the report, six flash loan attacks accounted for the greatest losses at over $200 million, with Euler Finance representing most of the total. Smart contract exploits were the most common type at 17 incidents. Decentralized finance (DeFi) accounted for only five incidents, but it suffered the lion’s share of losses at $336 million.

In the first quarter, $130 million was recovered from the exploits. All of that money was recovered in March and nearly all of it, $129 million, was due to money returned by the Euler Finance hackers. In the first quarter of last year, $520 million had been returned out of $1.3 billion lost, that is, 40% of the stolen funds, compared to 28.7% this year.

While DeFi dominated the losses reported, losses on decentralized exchanges and from crypto tokens and nonfungible tokens likely hit retail users as well. Theft is not uncommon for retail users, and scams affecting them are constantly evolving.

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