Cryptocurrency-Related Bug Bounties Netted Hackers Nearly $1 Million in 2019

Francisco Memoria

Hackers have last year earned a total of $968,504 via bug bounty programs launched by cryptocurrency and blockchain firms via the HackerOne platform.

According to data shared with TheBlock, hackers have managed to earn the near $1 million figure thanks to bug bounties from major cryptocurrency businesses like Coinbase, Ripple, and Block.one. These pay hackers to find and address their security vulnerabilities, effectively helping them become safer platforms.

As CryptoGlobe reported, back in 2018 blockchain and cryptocurrency companies received over 3,000 vulnerability reports and rewarded hackers with a total of $878,000. The 10% year-on-year increase is small but notable, as in 2018 Block.one alone awarded hackers over $500,000, accounting for more than 60% of the bounties paid out.

It was followed by Coinbase, which awarded them with a total of $290,000, and by TRON, which awarded $76,200. Per TheBlock’s report, cryptocurrency and blockchain firms ranked fourth when it came to the highest bug bounties paid in 2019, falling behind internet services, computer software, and media.

The average bug bounty in the cryptocurrency space was the highest on the platform, at $6,124 per security vulnerability. Last year, the average bounty in the blockchain industry was of less than $1,500.

While the amount paid out to hackers may sound alarming at first, it’s worth noting that the program incentivizes those with skills to actually support the cryptocurrency space’s security by rewarding them for helping companies, instead of trying to steal from their wallets.

Despite its existence hackers still target the cryptocurrency space’s users. This month, a Ledger wallet user reportedly lost $16,000 to a malicious browser extension. North Korean hacking group Lazarus has also been found to be using Telegram to steal cryptocurrency.

Featured image via Pixabay.