Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have crossed into that realm of popularity where various platforms are ranked, with industry observer Comparitech launching its Worldwide NFT Heists tracker.
NFTs have sold for as much as $92 million, but their financial value is still a point of great controversy in the traditional financial, financial technology (fintech), payments and cryptocurrency industries.
Researchers at Comparitech have been tracking NFT thefts for more than two years ever since the first NFT was stolen in early 2020. More than $86 million in NFT value has been pilfered since then, according to Comparitech research.
Much like financial threats and security in general, growing attacks on NFTs boil down to bad actors attempting to attack areas where they see the most money flowing. (Case in point: In December 2021, one NFT called "The Merge" sold for an eye-popping $92 million.)
Rebecca Moody, head of data research at Comparitech, pointed out that the company’s research have been tracking NFT heists since they initially came to light more than two years ago. In the past two and a half years, $86 million has been stolen from these sites, with increasing attacks this year — just like cryptocurrency in general. According to Comparitech, the 10 most significant NFT heists (based on the U.S. dollar amount stolen at the time of the attack) have been:
- Lympo — $18.7 million stolen: The sports-based NFT and subsidiary of Animoca Brands, Lympo, lost 165.2 million LMT tokens in a hot wallet hack. At the time of the attack (January 2022), this was equivalent to $18.7 million and affected 10 wallets.
- Farmers World — $15.7 million stolen: WAX chain’s crypto game, Farmers World, suffered a theft in November 2021 resulting in more than 100 million yuan in losses ($15.7 million). However, some suggest that the figure could have reached as much as 300 million yuan.
- Bored Ape Yacht Club — $13.7 million stolen: In April 2022, Bored Ape Yacht Club’s Instagram account was hacked and tens of NFTs were stolen from tricked users who connected their Ethereum wallet. The floor price of these NFTs equated to nearly $14 million.
- DragonSB Finance — $10 million stolen: DragonSB Finance, an NFT gaming project, lost $10 million when its vesting smart contract was hit by hackers in April 2022.
- OpenSea — $3.4 million stolen: In a phishing incident in February 2022, attackers exploited OpenSea users and stole NFTs worth over 1,200 ETH (around $3.4 million at the time). In a lucky twist of fate for some victims, the hacker returned some of the unsold NFTs.
- TopGoal — $2.23 million stolen: In February 2022, TopGoal was attacked and over 4.8 million TMT was transferred from the platform’s hot wallet to the hacker’s address. At the time, these tokens were worth just over $2.2 million.
- The Shifters – $2 million stolen: Duped via fake websites and Discord messages, over $2 million was stolen from users during the eagerly anticipated release of The Shifters NFTs in March 2022.
- Alethea AI — $1.8 million stolen: In a Discord compromise, Alethea AI fans were exploited for 840 ETH, which was worth around $1.8 million at the time (March 2022).
- Moonbirds — $1.5 million stolen: In May 2022, 29 Moonbirds’ NFTs were stolen via a malicious link set up by hackers. These were worth an estimated 750 ETH ($1.5 million).
- Omni — $1.43 million stolen: NFT finance platform, Omni, suffered a flash loan reentrancy attack in July 2022 in which hackers stole 1,300 ETH ($1.43 million). Omni enables users to stake NFTs across various platforms so they can receive tokens (e.g. ETH).