700 million dollars stolen in the first quarter of 2022
Hackers and other pirates set their sights on the sectors where the amounts are the most attractive. Rather than steal bank transfers of a few tens of euros, getting your hands on a cryptocurrency wallet is much more attractive. So, despite the fall in cryptocurrency prices at the start of the year, cybercriminals were not resting at all. Attacks on various crypto projects and ecosystems have earned hackers and scammers millions of dollars.
Solana and Binance Smart Chain mainly targeted
According to recent posts from the Atlas VPN team, blockchain hackers stole $682 million in 72 hacking events throughout the first quarter of 2022. Additionally, hacks on the Solana and Binance Smart Chain ecosystems have attributed more than half of the losses during this quarter. The data is based on figures provided by Slowmist Hacked, which collects information on disclosed attacks against blockchain projects. Monetary losses were calculated based on the conversion rate of a particular cryptocurrency at the time of a hack or scam.
The Solana ecosystem suffered 4 hack events and lost $397 million in Q1 2022. Wormhole, a communication bridge between Solana and other DeFi networks, saw the biggest hack of the quarter. An attacker exploited a signature verification vulnerability in the network to mint 120K of wormhole-wrapped Ether on Solana, worth approximately $334 million.
Cybercriminals have hacked projects in the Binance Smart Chain ecosystem 12 times, racking up $99 million in losses. The Qubit protocol was attacked by exploiting the QBridge repository feature. The exploit allowed the hacker to mint $80 million of xETH (xplosive Ethereum) collateral.
Other types of blockchain hacks caused $52 million in losses over 9 events. IRA Financial Trust, which provides self-directed retirement accounts, lost $36 million to a crypto hack.
NFT: hacks are not left
NFTs were the top target for cybercriminals with 20 hacks and nearly $49 million in losses. Some attackers use phishing attack methods on Discord to steal victims’ NFTs. Moreover, many scammers launch NFT projects, which turn out to be carpet pulling scams.
The exchanges were hacked by $42 million in just 3 events. At the same time, the Ethereum ecosystem lost almost $25 million to attackers in 16 hacking events during the first quarter of 2022.
Blockchain hacks hit an all-time high
The ever-expanding blockchain industry continues to attract more and more investors. The growing cryptocurrency market not only attracts legitimate people interested in the technology, but also cybercriminals who want to exploit it. Cryptocurrency projects only experienced 5 blockchain-related hack events in the first quarter of 2018. Next year, in the first quarter of 2019, hacks increased by 1140% to 62. While in the first quarter of 2020, the number of hacks fell to 13, in the first quarter of 2021, blockchain-related breaches and scams jumped 154% to 33. Blockchain-related hack events reached a record high of 72 in the first quarter of 2022. This represents a 118% increase in hacks compared to the first quarter of 2021. With the rise of new crypto ecosystems, cybercriminals are getting more targets they can exploit. Moreover, the growing trend of NFT has attracted even more scammers into the industry.
Ethereum: a popular target for hackers
The Ethereum ecosystem suffered an equal number of 16 hack events in the first quarters of 2021 and 2022. This has made the ecosystem one of the most likely targets for hackers for two consecutive years. Despite this, other ecosystems such as Solana and Binance Smart Chain saw the biggest losses, which could tempt cybercriminals to switch targets.
The security of Blockchain projects should be one of the main concerns of someone who wants to invest in cryptocurrency. Most blockchain-related hacking events happen because cybercriminals exploit flaws in the project’s code. A successful hack could lead to significant losses for the creators and investors of the crypto platform.
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Cryptos / bitcoin: 72 hacks, $682 million stolen in the 1st quarter of 2022, hackers are unaware of the crisis
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