Each Year’s Rewards for Hackers Continue to Double
At the end of each year, it is found that the year had been the worst from the hacking point of view. It has become an established practice that each year’s loss caused by crypto hackers is doubling for the past many years.
The previous year of 2022 was also no different as 2022’s losses at the hands of crypto hackers turned out to be double the size of 2021.
Like always, this year also, Chanalysis, was the first in unearthing the valuation of crypto funds stolen by hackers in 2022.
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Though Chainalysis hasn’t yet published its final ‘Crypto Crime Report’ but the publication is expected next month. However, an extract from the draft report revealed that crypto hackers looted more than $3.8 Billion in 2022.
The report further noted that 2022 was the worst year in which hackers managed to double the damage they had caused in 2021.
The cryptocurrency industry found itself in the worst spot, which made it quite vulnerable to hackers. They were able to exploit the weaknesses to their advantage and stole billions in the year 2022.
Many had hoped that the crypto industry would learn from its mistakes in the year 2021. It would strengthen its security systems making them more resilient to hack attempts.
But things went exactly the opposite of what had been expected from the year 2022.
March till October 2022 – Peak Time of Hacking
According to Chainalysis’s report, the peak time in which the most number of hack attacks were made was March to October 2022.
Within the month of October 2022 alone, the hackers managed to take their criminal activities to their highest peak.
For instance, approximately $775.7 Million was stolen by hackers in the month of October alone from at least 32 different platforms. The month of October was thereafter termed the ‘Hacktober’ by the global crypto community.
DeFi Protocols Were the Major Targets Since 2021
What remained most shocking for Chainalysis was the fact the majority of victims of crypto hack attacks were the DeFi protocols.
According to Chainalysis’s report, DeFi hack attacks account for over 82% of the entire hack attacks in 2022. Chainalysis further notes that in 2021, this figure was approximately 73% which is now up by nearly 10%.
This shows that since 2021, crypto hackers have turned their attention towards the DeFi sector instead of stealing crypto funds from crypto platforms.
Consecutively for back-to-back two years i.e. 2021 and 2022, the DeFi sector was being extensively exploited by stealthy hackers, opined Chainalysis.
Chainalysis also noted that 64% of the total 2022’s loss of $3.1 Billion was stolen particularly from protocols based on cross-chain bridges.
Most Attacks Stem From North Korea
The investigations conducted by Chainalysis further suggested that most of the crypto hack attacks stemmed from North Korean hackers.
The firm opined that for the past many years, North Korean-based hackers had been the most active hackers. Their prime targets were mainly the crypto firms and DeFi projects in the US and Europe.
According to Chainalysis, a small portion of their hacking activities had also been witnessed in African and Asian regions as well.
The firm further explained that the hackers linked to North Korea had been breaking their own records of loot and plunder.
They were held accountable for stealing nearly $1 Billion in 2021 and in 2022 they single-handedly stole about $1.7 Billion.
In 2022 alone, North Korean hackers stole roughly over $1.1 Billion from the DeFi sector. It could hence be easily acknowledged that North Korean hackers had been causing more damage to the DeFi sector than any other.
They were even found exploiting an app known as ‘Tornado Cash’ which is an Ethereum mixer app. They misused Ethereum’s app for whitening ill-gotten money.
Ultimately, the US Government had to step in and ban the app permanently in August 2022.