Blockchain Security Ecosystem In 2021, the number of typical security incidents exceeds 332

2021 inventory

As the blockchain industry ushered in a new period of development in 2021, the blockchain, as an important part of the “new infrastructure”, has accelerated its integration with the real economy and the digital economy, and steadily progressed, and the application value of the blockchain has been further highlighted. At the same time, various types of blockchain security risks are constantly escalating with the large-scale application of technology.

In the past 2021, the blockchain has faced more severe security challenges, and many large-scale and shocking cyber attacks have occurred in the blockchain ecosystem. Today, follow us to review what happened in the blockchain security ecosystem in 2021.

Overview of blockchain security ecology in 2021

According to the incomplete statistics of the data monitored by Chengdu Lianan [Lianbing-Blockchain Security Situational Awareness Platform], as of press time, the number of relevant typical security incidents in the entire blockchain ecosystem in 2021 exceeded 332, compared to In 2020, there are 270 cases, an increase of over 22%; in 2021, the economic loss caused by the entire blockchain ecology will exceed 15.3 billion U.S. dollars, an increase of over 26% over 2020 .

It is worth noting that, according to the statistics of the Chengdu Lian’an security team over the years, the ecological economic loss of the blockchain exceeded US$2 billion in 2018, and the ecological economic loss of the blockchain exceeded US$6 billion in 2019; the ecological economic loss of the blockchain exceeded US$6 billion in 2020. US$12.1 billion, coupled with the economic loss of over US$15.3 billion in 2021, shows that the blockchain ecological economic loss has become more and more severe in the past few years.

Blockchain Security Ecosystem In 2021, the number of typical security incidents exceeds 332

2010-2021 blockchain ecological economic loss

Since 2016, the ecological and economic losses of the blockchain have been increasing year by year, which stems from the fact that the blockchain industry has entered a stage of rapid development in recent years. As the underlying technology of the blockchain gradually matures, the application value of the blockchain has been increasingly recognized , The economic benefits carried by the blockchain ecology have been increasing year by year, and the ensuing security risks have also become more severe.

The popularity of global encrypted assets has increased and the total market value has continuously broken through historical highs, and criminal acts by hackers and lawbreakers have become more rampant.

In terms of reflecting the problems, first, the entire blockchain ecosystem still lacks universal security standards and safety regulations, and it is difficult to effectively contain the chaos in the industry; second, the underlying technology of the block is in the application layer, contract layer, network layer, and consensus. There are still various security risks that cannot be ignored at each level; third, the safety supervision process of the blockchain ecology needs to be promoted urgently. How to achieve efficient and feasible safety supervision is a key problem that the entire industry needs to tackle.

In addition to the security risks inherent in the blockchain technology architecture, its “genetic characteristics” such as decentralization, hard to tamper with, and anonymity also bring challenges that cannot be ignored at the level of blockchain security supervision. The specific performance is three aspects.

The first is that blockchain technology has no national boundaries. Blockchain network nodes can exist in multiple countries. The tracking of abnormal behaviors generated on the chain causes problems such as jurisdictional dilemmas and liability determination dilemmas.

The second is the strong privacy of the blockchain, which undoubtedly increases the difficulty of tracing the source of security incidents and criminal acts.

The third is the tamper-proof modification of the blockchain, which forms a natural shelter for harmful information and criminal activities, and poses a challenge to industry safety supervision.

Full portrait of blockchain security incidents in 2021

Number of typical security incidents

According to the incomplete statistics of the data monitored by Chengdu Lianan [Lianbing-Blockchain Security Situation Awareness Platform], as of the time of publication, the number of relevant typical security incidents in the entire blockchain ecosystem in 2021 exceeded 332 , and security incidents broke out The peak was in August, and the security situation was also severe in June and July .

Blockchain Security Ecosystem In 2021, the number of typical security incidents exceeds 332

Proportion of typical security incident types

Security incidents are mainly concentrated in exchanges, DeFi, fraud/encryption scams, ransomware/mining Trojans, dark web, and other aspects . Among them, there are 101 DeFi security incidents and 95 fraud/encryption scams , becoming the main annual The source of security incidents.

Blockchain Security Ecosystem In 2021, the number of typical security incidents exceeds 332

Distribution types of typical security incidents in 2021

The amount of economic loss caused by a typical security incident

According to incomplete statistics from Chengdu Lianan [Lianbing-Blockchain Security Situational Awareness Platform], the economic loss caused by security incidents in 2021 exceeds 15.3 billion U.S. dollars , which is still higher than the 12.1 billion U.S. dollar trend in 2020. Among them, the form of economic loss caused by fraud/encryption scam is the most serious .

Blockchain Security Ecosystem In 2021, the number of typical security incidents exceeds 332

The amount of economic losses caused by various types of typical security incidents in 2021

Security risk analysis and countermeasures

As a brand-new data recording, storage and expression method that integrates multiple technologies, blockchain technology can establish a low-cost trust mechanism in an untrusted competitive environment, and at the same time has a series of encryption algorithms and digital signatures. Ensure transaction security, and form a chain structure sorted by timestamp to ensure that data is not tampered with. But despite this, the blockchain is both a tough security defender and a vulnerable target.

DeFi ecology

Due to the rise of the DeFi craze, this field has naturally become the key target of hackers in 2021.

Jian Yee

Before the project goes live, the DeFi project party should do a good job of precautionary work, seek a third-party security company to conduct strict security audits, introduce a complete set of security solutions throughout the life cycle such as situational awareness, threat intelligence, and security response, and improve security protection mechanisms . As a user, when selecting a project, you should pay attention to whether the project has been audited by a third-party security company, and whether it has an authoritative security audit report, and you must not take it lightly.

In terms of fraud/encryption scam

In 2021, the economic loss caused by fraud and encryption scams far exceeds that of hackers’ attacks and thefts. The large number of people affected, the wide area, and the high amount of money involved have contributed to the flames, which has led to a high incidence of security incidents in this field and serious economic losses.

Jian Yee

As users and investors, you should be vigilant, carefully screen investment products and investment projects, and do not blindly follow or follow the trend. Strengthen your own security awareness and anti-fraud awareness, carefully distinguish relevant information on the Internet, and don’t fall into the trap. Practitioners from all parties in the industry should actively cooperate with relevant departments to promote the construction of the entire blockchain ecological safety supervision process.

Ransomware/mining Trojans

In terms of ransomware, hackers generally use phishing attacks, virus software, and vulnerability attacks to lock the victim’s network equipment or encrypt important files to blackmail designated encrypted assets; while for mining Trojan horses, they use mining Trojan horses and worms to accomplish this. A large number of calculations are used to obtain encrypted assets. During the calculation process, a large number of CPU and GPU resources of the computer are occupied, which will cause the computer to become abnormally slow and interfere with normal system operation.

Jian Yee

Avoid using weak passwords, and the same password cannot be reused. Security protection should be strengthened in daily work, do not trust or download links or files from unknown sources, and be cautious when opening emails or web addresses from unknown sources. Unite global forces to severely crack down on ransomware/mining Trojans, and promote the construction of industry safety supervision.

On the dark web

In 2021, the dark web is still a place where cybercrime activities frequently occur. In order to evade supervision and tracking by relevant authorities, criminals will often choose Bitcoin, Litecoin, etc. as the medium of transactions based on the anonymity of encrypted assets.

Jian Yee

As a user, you should use the Internet correctly and regulate network ethics. As a cyber security company, it is necessary to strengthen dark web governance related technologies and assist relevant departments in participating in special operations against the dark web and the dark gray industry chain. Strengthen international cooperation to enhance the overall strength of global governance and management of the dark web.

Exchange side

Exchanges are the closest place to user assets and are used for the management and storage of massive assets and for matching transactions. Therefore, it has always been the first target for hackers to attack.

Jian Yee

The secondary exchange should establish a complete security risk control emergency plan to respond to and deal with all types of hacker attacks in a timely manner. The exchange should establish a comprehensive security protection mechanism, reinforce the platform’s own security architecture, and conduct overall security tests on the platform from third-party security companies in due course. Strengthen the popularization of safety awareness among internal employees and users, and avoid the situation of guards’ theft.

Other aspects

In other aspects, security incidents in various fields, such as information leakage, privacy protection, theft of private keys, and illegal money laundering, still cannot be ignored. At the same time, with the large-scale integration and application of blockchain technology and multiple industrial fields, various types of security incidents will be high in the future, which is worthy of attention, and a targeted security defense mechanism needs to be established in time.


While practitioners from all sectors in the industry pay attention to security incidents in hot areas, they also need to take into account other security risks. On the basis of consolidating traditional security and network security, actively respond to security challenges in various fields of the blockchain ecology. Strengthen investment and research on blockchain security technology, and establish security solutions that cover the entire life cycle of the blockchain ecosystem.

Top 10 blockchain security incidents in 2021

Based on the size of the incident’s loss, let’s review the top ten security incidents in 2021 .


POLY NETWORK: US$611 million 

Time: August 10, 2021

Attack method: There is a problem with the contract authority management logic

On the evening of August 10, public opinion monitoring by Beosin-Eagle Eye (Beosin-Eagle Eye) showed that the cross-chain protocol Poly Network was attacked, and nearly $600 million in funds on the three chains of Ethereum, BinanceChain, and Polygon were stolen. .

After analysis, the Chengdu Lianan technical team discovered that the attacker used the logic flaws in the EthCrossChainManager contract to call the putCurEpochConPubKeyBytes function in the EthCrossChainData contract through the contract to change the Keeper to its own address, and then use the address to sign the transaction to withdraw the token, thereby Take out a large number of token sets in the LockProxy contract.


BITMART: US$196 million 

Time: December 4, 2021

Attack method: the private key of the hot wallet was stolen

On October 4, the cryptocurrency trading platform Bitmart was stolen $196 million by hackers. The platform officially announced the hacking incident, indicating that this was a large-scale security attack. Of this, about 100 million U.S. dollars comes from various cryptocurrencies on the Ethereum blockchain, and 96 million U.S. dollars comes from currencies on the Binance smart chain. Later, BitMart founder and CEO Sheldon Xia stated on social media that BitMart has completed preliminary security checks and determined the affected assets, mainly due to the stolen private keys of two hot wallets.


 Compound: $147 million  

Time: September 30, 2021

Attack method: the initial setting of the token distribution rate is wrong

On September 30, the head decentralized lending agreement Compound Yu Guantui stated that after passing and implementing the “Governance Proposal 062”, a bug was posted in the upgrade contract incorrectly, resulting in abnormal distribution of COMP tokens. The misallocation of approximately US$80 million in excess COMP, plus the US$22 million already claimed after the infusion and the US$45 million at risk, brings the total vulnerabilities to US$147 million. Although this is more of a “banking error” than a vulnerability exploit, it is fair for Compound to have a place on this list.


 Vulcan Forged: $145 million 

Time: December 13, 2021

Attack method: wallet intrusion

On December 13, according to Vulcan Forged’s official Twitter, 96 wallets holding PYR were hacked. More than 4.5 million PYR has been stolen. Then the official said: 1. We can do nothing, they cannot withdraw funds from the wallet where the PK has been stolen and the funds have not been transferred. 2. We are moving to a complete decentralized wallet setup. 3. All stolen PYR will be replaced by our treasury. On December 14, Vulcan Forged had compensated all compromised users with USD 145 million worth of Token PYR after the previous hacking attack. All refunds came from the Vulcan Forged treasury.


 Cream Finance: US$130 million 

Time: October 27

Attack method: Lightning loan attack

Cream Finance, the DeFi lending agreement, was attacked again, with a loss of US$130 million. The stolen funds were mainly CreamLP tokens and other ERC-20 tokens. Regarding this attack, the Chengdu Lian’an technical team conducted incident analysis for the first time and found that this attack was a typical lightning loan for price operations. After obtaining a large amount of funds through lightning loans, it used contract design defects to drastically change the price and lead to profit. . Cream’s oracle price calculation uses yUSD’s totalAsset. When transferring funds directly to the yUSD contract, the Debt will not be updated, which will increase the totalAsset, which will increase the price of yUSD and allow more funds to be borrowed from Cream.

Related reading (click for direct access):

$130 million stolen! Attract “scumbag” physique? Cream Finance was hacked for the fifth time this year


Badger DAO: US$120 million 

Time: December 2

Attack method: front-end malicious code injection

On December 2, an attacker used the “front-end malicious code injection” attack method to withdraw funds from the wallets of dozens of users of the Badger DAO revenue vault agreement. The total loss was approximately 2100 BTC and 151 ETH, which was a total loss of approximately 2100 BTC and 151 ETH. 120 million U.S. dollars. It is reported that. As early as November 28, Discord users began to report abnormal spending requests from the Badger platform, and reminded the administrator on social media and Discord, but the relevant reminders did not receive official attention.


 AscendEX: US$77.7 million 

Time: December 12

Attack method: the private key of the hot wallet was stolen

On December 12, the hot wallet accident caused AscendEX to lose nearly 80 million U.S. dollars. On December 12, AscendEX announced the hot wallet anomaly it encountered the day before, “At approximately 22:00 UTC on December 11, we found some unauthorized transfers in a hot wallet.” The exchange did not Explain the reason for the occurrence of “unauthorized transfer” in the announcement. Judging from this security incident, the centralized exchange that keeps a large number of user assets still has omissions in the management of hot wallets.


 EasyFi: $59 million 

Time: April 19

Attack method: the private key of the hot wallet was stolen

Ankitt Gaur, founder and CEO of, said on Twitter that on April 19, hackers transferred a large number of EASY tokens from the official EasyFi wallet to unknown wallets on the Ethereum network and Polygon network; and the computers that manage these tokens have It has been offline for more than a week and has not been used. On April 19, Ankitt Gaur, the founder and CEO of EasyFi, said that a large number of EASY tokens have been transferred from the official EasyFi wallet to several unknown wallets on the Ethereum network and the Polygon network. After the EasyFi investigation, the incident was a mnemonic cracking security incident. The EasyFi smart contract was not used by hackers, but the MetaMask mnemonic phrase or administrator key was remotely attacked, which only consumed the liquidity of the protocol.


 Uranium Finance: US$57.2 million 

Time: April 28

Attack method: precision processing error

On April 28, 2021, Beijing time, Uranium Finance, a blockchain project on the Binance Smart Chain, tweeted to remind users that Uranium was attacked during the liquidity migration process and reminded users to stop trading. A simple mathematical error was introduced in the UraniumPair contract forked from the Uniswap v2 code, resulting in a loss of at least $57,000,000 in this attack.


 bZx: USD 55 million 

Time: November 5

Attack method: private key leak

On November 5, an attack occurred on the Decentralized Finance (DeFi) platform bZx. A hacker used a spear phishing attack to obtain two private keys on the bZx platform for integration with Polygon and Binance smart chain blockchains. , Initiated unlimited consumption operations through the private key, and successfully stolen about 55 million U.S. dollars worth of cryptocurrency assets on the bZx platform. The Decentralized Finance (DeFi) platform allows users to borrow and speculate on the price changes of cryptocurrencies.

Final summary

Although blockchain technology is accelerating its evolution and becoming more perfect in 2021, the ever-increasing incidence of blockchain security incidents poses more severe challenges to the blockchain ecological security situation.

Judging from various statistics in 2021, the entire blockchain ecology is still DeFi, fraud and encryption scams are more likely to become a breeding ground for hacker attacks and fraud crimes, both in terms of the number of security incidents and the number of economic losses caused. Very huge. Several DeFi projects were attacked by hackers, and the huge economic losses caused severely affected the safety and stability of the blockchain ecology; the popularity and wealth benefits of virtual currencies have gradually increased, and incidents related to fraud and encryption scams are surging.

In this regard, Chengdu Lianan recommends:

The majority of project parties must ensure project safety audits, and conduct real-time monitoring of abnormal operations, find them immediately, and resolve them immediately;

The majority of users should also enhance their knowledge reserves and enhance their own safety awareness to avoid serious economic losses.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:
Coinyuppie is an open information publishing platform, all information provided is not related to the views and positions of coinyuppie, and does not constitute any investment and financial advice. Users are expected to carefully screen and prevent risks.

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