Police in Japan released a report detailing the extent of cybercrime in the east Asian nation this Friday. Alongside hacking incidents and child pornography, the report also covered crypto theft in 2018.
According to the report, which was published by Japan’s National Police Agency (NPA), ¥67.7 billion ($610 million) in cryptocurrency was stolen from Japanese citizens and companies last year.
As a caveat, it should be noted that the vast majority of that cash was stolen in one attack.
Back in January of last year, Coincheck confirmed that hackers had stolen ¥58 billion worth of the NEM cryptocurrency from approximately 260,000 users.
After compensating victims of the attack in March of last year, Coincheck was able to resume operations towards the end of 2018 and even received an exchange license from Japanese regulators in January.
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No crooks caught
In total, hackers carried out 169 successful attacks on Japanese individuals or companies with significant cryptocurrency holdings over the course of 2018.
That was 20 more than in 2017 but, considering all of the cryptocurrency hype in 2018, not a significant increase.
Worryingly for cryptocurrency traders, not a single one of these cases have been resolved.
Considering the sums of money involved, that is astonishing. It is difficult to think of another instance where over half a billion dollars was stolen, and no one was held accountable for it.
Other stats in the NPA’s report give some indication as to where the hackers may be hiding out with their ill-gotten gains.
The police agency said that 20.8 percent of all cyber attacks on Japanese citizens and companies, which were not specifically targeting cryptocurrency firms, originated in Russia. Another 14.1 percent came from China, and 12.6 percent were located in the United States.