Hackers steal $3.5bn worth of cryptocurrencies from blockchain in 2022 | NEWS.am TECH

January 12, 2023  12:22

In recent years, blockchain technology has attracted a lot of attention due to its potential to revolutionize a number of industries and due to its high security indicator due to decentralization. However, like any technology, blockchain is not immune to hacking attacks. A total of $3.5 billion in assets were stolen as a result of the attacks on the blockchain system in 2022.

According to researchers at Slowmist Hacked and Atlas VPN, most of the funds—$2 billion in 92 attacks—were stolen from the Binance Smart Chain (BSC) ecosystem and cross-chain bridges that transfer both data and assets between different blockchain networks.

There were 16 hacks on cross-chain bridges resulting in the theft of $1.2 billion, and 76 attacks on the BSC—$870 million stolen.

During the attack on BNB Chain in October, the hacker stole about $588 million. This has become the second biggest hacker attack of the year. The Ethereum ecosystem has also not managed to avoid these attacks. In 2022, there were 49 attacks that resulted in more than $500 million in damage to this cryptocurrency.

There were also 48 attacks on other crypto projects and platforms, with criminals stealing $370 million. A total of 57 attacks took place in the NFT segment, and the total loss was $90 million.

The researchers note that they did not take into account the losses incurred as a result of the bankruptcy of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange last year, as the final amount has not yet been calculated. By the way, FTX has recovered assets of more than $5 billion.

Attacks on blockchain are on the rise

Slowmist Hacked and Atlas VPN researchers note that despite the overall slowdown in activity in the cryptocurrency market, hackers were very active last year, especially due to the spread of blockchain technology.

Thus, a total of 301 attacks were recorded in the entire market in 2022, which means that the attacks in 2022 increased by 27% compared to 2021. In addition, despite the relative decrease in the number of hacker attacks in the second half of last year, their total number was a record for the year.

The authors note that in the first quarter of 2022, there were 79 attacks on the blockchain system, i.e. the most incidents recorded in one quarter. During this quarter, hackers stole more than $1.2 billion worth of cryptocurrencies.

However, hacker attacks increased by 24% in the second quarter. A total of 98 attacks were recorded in which cybercriminals stole more than $800 million from the blockchain, less than in the first quarter.

Due to falling prices of most cryptocurrencies, hacker attacks on the blockchain have decreased significantly, reaching just 56 incidents in the third quarter—a 43% decrease compared to the second quarter. While the cryptocurrency market is still in decline, hackers and fraudsters have been using more schemes in the last quarter of the year. During the mentioned period, 68 incidents were registered, as a result of which more than $1-billion worth of assets were stolen.