NFT thefts on marketplaces rose to 268% in February 2023

NFT thefts on marketplaces rose to 268% in February 2023

As per recent insight from PeckShieldAlert, the NFT market suffered a significant blow which saw $16.2 million of NFTs stolen In February 2023, representing a 268% increase from January.

February 2023 records a rise in the number of stolen NFTs sold on marketplaces

According to PeckShieldAlert’s report, around 47% of the stolen NFTs were first sold on OpenSea, one of the largest NFT marketplaces, followed by 21.7% on Blur

Half of the stolen NFTs were quickly sold on marketplaces within 82 minutes, indicating the high demand for such items on secondary markets. These incidents raise concerns about the security of the blockchain technology that underlies the NFT and collectors. 

OpenSea faced a rough time after an NFT holder accused it of theft and negligence. In the incident, Robert Acres, a lesser-known user of OpenSea, was also targeted in an NFT phishing scam that resulted in the theft of two of his NFTs. 

Despite seeking assistance from OpenSea to retrieve his property and prevent the thieves from reselling it, Acres claims that he was not promptly assisted like Rose was. Instead, OpenSea allegedly locked him out of his account for three months, leading to significant losses on the 58 NFTs he had in his possession, as he could not trade them during this period.

Nonetheless, not everything has been on the downside in the NFT market. On Feb. 19, in a successful joint effort, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) collaborated with Norway’s National Authority of Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime, also known as Økokrim, to recover millions of dollars that were stolen in the Axie Infinity Hack

The coordinated operation retrieved approximately $5.9 million from the hackers responsible for the theft. This significant achievement underscores the importance of international cooperation in combating cybercrime and recovering stolen funds.

February 2023 presented a tough period for NFT investors, but whether the security will improve in the coming months of the year remains to be seen. 

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