Amidst the November frenzy in the cryptocurrency market, an alarming $173 million loss has been reported, marking a tumultuous period within the digital asset sphere. This figure, disclosed by CertiK, a blockchain and smart contract security company, signifies a disconcerting trend in the realm of digital finance.
Highlighted within this staggering sum are two pivotal incidents accounting for a staggering 91% of the overall losses. CertiK's analysis has confirmed that November 2023 has already secured a spot as the fourth-highest month for losses this year, emphasizing the severity of the situation.
The primary catalyst behind this significant surge in losses stems from the recent cyber attack on the prominent cryptocurrency exchange, Poloniex. A staggering $114 million was siphoned off by hackers who exploited vulnerabilities in the exchange's "hot wallets," leaving a trail of 357 transactions.
Arkham data, monitoring the situation closely, traced the movement of funds, identifying an Ethereum wallet now attributed to the "Poloniex hacker" responsible for the large-scale theft.
CertiK's alert, posted on X, underscored the gravity of the situation, reiterating the $173 million losses, predominantly fueled by two substantial incidents. Additionally, it reiterated the troubling fact that November has now clinched the fourth-highest position in terms of monthly losses this year.
Furthermore, the security firm shed light on another noteworthy event—a phishing scheme that resulted in a separate loss amounting to approximately $27 million.
Comparatively, confirmed losses from hacks, frauds, and exploits in October were notably lower, totaling around $32.2 million, painting a stark contrast to November's distressing figures.
In a separate but equally concerning development, the revelation that over $7 billion in cryptocurrency has been illicitly laundered through cross-chain crime has surfaced. Of significant concern is the alleged involvement of North Korea's Lazarus Group, which has been linked to the theft of approximately $900 million between July 2022 and July of this year.
According to insights from the blockchain analytics firm Elliptic, decentralized exchanges (DEXs), cross-chain bridges, and coin swap services have facilitated the movement of $7 billion in illicit funds, raising considerable concerns about the security and integrity of the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
The startling losses and illicit activities unveiled in November serve as a stark reminder of the vulnerabilities and risks inherent in the digital asset landscape, urging both investors and regulatory bodies to bolster efforts in fortifying security measures and combating fraudulent activities within the cryptocurrency realm.