Cryptocurrency Stealing By Hackers Reached A Record $4 Billion Last Year
According to a blockchain analytics firm that tracks cybercrime, hackers stole a record $3.8 billion in cryptocurrency last year, led by thieves linked to North Korea.
Chainalysis researchers called 2022 “the biggest year ever for crypto hacking” in a report published last week. Thefts increased from $3.3 billion in 2021, according to the firm. According to Reuters, a confidential United Nations report found North Korea stole more cryptocurrency assets last year than any other year.
During the coronavirus pandemic, investors in the United States poured millions of dollars into bitcoin, ether, dogecoin, and other popular tokens to make a fortune. However, some investors have suffered losses from hackers, with their digital wallets stolen on platforms with poor cybersecurity.
According to the Chainalysis report, North Korean cybercriminals stole $1.7 billion worth of cryptocurrency in 2022, “smashing their annual record for most cryptocurrency stolen.”
The researchers continued, “It isn’t a stretch to say that cryptocurrency hacking is a sizable chunk of the nation’s economy given that North Korea’s total exports in 2020 totalled $142 million.”
U.S. lawmakers have re-invigorated their calls for regulating the crypto industry as more investors lost money in cryptocurrency. In November, FTX Trading, the third-largest crypto platform, abruptly collapsed and filed for bankruptcy, increasing scrutiny of the industry.
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According to Chainalysis, the number of cryptocurrency hacks “ebbed and flowed” in 2022, with remarkable peaks in March and October. According to the report, October was “the biggest single month ever for cryptocurrency hacking,” with 32 attacks resulting in a loss of $775.7 million.
As per Chainalysis, hackers have concentrated their efforts on platforms for decentralised finance, or DeFi, responsible for 82% of all funds stolen last year. Criminals frequently prey on cryptocurrency investors who transfer money between blockchains using a so-called “cross-chain bridge.”
The largest hack in October involved the theft of $586 million in cryptocurrency from a Binance-owned cross-chain bridge. The business admitted to the breach and claimed that its security personnel “were able to minimise the loss.”
According to David Schwed, the chief operating officer at blockchain security company Halborn, bad actors can take advantage of DeFi platforms because some crypto companies haven’t prioritised security.
According to Schwed in Chainalysis’ report, “a big protocol should have 10 to 15 people on the security team, each with a specific area of expertise.” “The DeFi community wants to switch to protocols with high yields rather than generally demanding better security. However, those incentives eventually cause problems.”
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