Crypto theft has skyrocketed this year with fraudsters and hackers responsible for $4.4 billion recorded in losses so far.

Security firm Cipher Trace has just released its for cryptocurrency anti-money laundering report Q3 2019 and what they found out makes for depressing reading.

This year cyber criminals have stolen $4.4 billion with two scams in particular, the PlusToken scheme ($2.9 billion) and the Quadriga CX crypto-exchange scam taking the largest losses.

Just yesterday Upbit, Korea’s largest and most trusted exchange was hacked and lost $49 million worth of ether.

According to the report two thirds of the top 120 exchanges do not have strong KYC standards.

Crypto related fraud and theft is up to 258% on last year and thieves are developing ever more sophisticated and advanced methodology.

For the time being the cyber criminals have the upper hand and it appears that crypto-exchanges are viewed as soft targets.

It’s now up to the exchanges themselves to ensure hacks and heists of 2019 become a thing of the past and regulations are put in place to deter thieves from such brazen criminality.