One of the issues that have always plagued the burgeoning crypto industry is hacks and exploits. To cap off a memorable January of 2024, reports emerged yesterday that Ripple Executive Chairman, Chris Larsen suffered a $112 million exploit in his personal account.
That was in addition to the series of exploits that had already taken place in the first month of the year already. Going by media-reported hacks and exploits, Technext estimates that the total sum lost due to hacks and exploits in the crypto industry in January 2024 is $210.7 million.
According to researchers at security app, De.Fi, crypto users lost nearly $2 billion to scams, rug pulls and hacks in 2023, a sign that the industry remains susceptible to security risks.
Ripple Chairman hack
Ripple co-founder and Chairman Chris Larsen confirmed yesterday, which was the last day of January, that his personal crypto accounts had been hacked.
The news which was first reported by crypto analyst ZachXBT initially claimed that the company itself had been hacked. But according to Larsen who took to X (Twitter) to clarify:
“Yesterday, there was unauthorized access to a few of my personal XRP accounts (not @Ripple) — we were quickly able to catch the problem and notify exchanges to freeze the affected addresses. Law enforcement is already involved.”
Although he didn’t confirm the amount, ZachXBT said the breach netted 213 million XRP worth about $112.5 million as of the time the exploit took place.
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The funds were reportedly siphoned and then the perpetrator(s) attempted to launder the XRP through at least six different exchanges. According to Larsen, law enforcement is now involved and has frozen accounts related to the breach. It is however unclear whether the funds remain in exchange custody and no other information has been provided.
Importantly, it looks like Ripple accounts were not affected. This means that XRP-holder funds are safe in what stands as the largest crypto-related hacks of 2024 so far.
Earlier exploits in January 2024
On January 2, South Korea’s Orbit Chain lost over $80 million due to a hack linked to compromised multi-sig signers. The breach involved various cryptos which included stablecoins ether, wrapped btc.
The following day after Orbit Chain, Radiant Capital, a cross-chain lending platform suspended lending and borrowing on the Arbitrum network after its newly introduced USDC market suffered a flash loan attack. The attack, occurring seconds after the market’s launch, exploited the codebase, leading to a $4.5 million loss.