Despite the drop in bitcoin prices at the beginning of the year, thieves did not take a break. Hackers and scammers made millions of dollars from attacks on numerous crypto projects and ecosystems.
According to the Atlas VPN team’s new research, blockchain hackers stole approximately $1.3 billion in 78 hack events in the first quarter of 2022. Furthermore, hacks on the Ethereum and Solana ecosystems resulted in over $1 billion in losses in this quarter alone.
The figures come from Slowmist Hacked, which compiles information about publicly acknowledged attacks on blockchain projects. The conversion rate of a particular cryptocurrency at the time of a hack or scam occurrence was used to quantify monetary losses
During the first quarter of 2022, the Ethereum ecosystem was hacked 18 times, resulting in a loss of almost $636 million. The most significant attack of the quarter occurred at the end of March, when the Axie Infinity sidechain Ronin Network was hacked. The theft totaled $610 million, with 173,600 Ethereum and 25.5 million USDC.
In the first quarter of 2022, the Solana ecosystem was hacked five times, resulting in a loss of $397 million. Wormhole, a communication link between Solana and other DeFi networks, was hacked for the second time this quarter. On Solana, an attacker took advantage of a signature verification flaw in the network to create 120K Wormhole-wrapped Ether worth $334 million.
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Cybercriminals have compromised 14 projects in the Binance Smart Chain ecosystem, resulting in losses of approximately $100 million. The QBridge deposit feature was used to launch an assault on the Qubit protocol. The hacker was able to generate $80 million in xETH (xplosive Ethereum) collateral as a result of the attack.
Other forms of blockchain attacks resulted in over $57 million in losses over the course of ten instances. A crypto hack cost IRA Financial Trust, a provider of self-directed retirement plans, $36 million.
With 20 intrusions and roughly $49 million in losses, NFTs were the most popular target for hackers. On Discord, some attackers conduct phishing attacks to steal users’ NFTs. In addition, many scammers are launching NFT projects that end up being rug pull scams.
Since the birth of Bitcoin in 2009, the crypto industry’s technology has advanced rapidly. Despite this, many crypto companies have failed to establish adequate security systems to prevent hackers from benefitting at the expense of their victims by exploiting security flaws.
Over $12 billion in cryptocurrencies has been stolen in the last 11 years. Hacks involving Decentralized Finance (DeFi) have increased, with fraudulent exchanges stealing up to 40% of cash.
In 2011, the first official breach of a cryptocurrency exchange occurred, with hackers stealing $1 million in total over the course of the year. In 2014, the amount of money lost due to security breaches increased significantly, reaching $645 million. Since then, the total has risen steadily, approaching $3.2 billion in 2021.
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