2022 was the year of the hacker… and 2023 will be even worse
In 2022, the crypto-currency sector suffered about a hundred computer attacks. By targeting the most fragile decentralized financial protocols, hackers have embezzled billions of dollars…and they don’t plan to stop there.
The world of cryptocurrencies has had a very complicated year. While a few major players bit the dust, it exploded as the number of hacks increased. Blockchain security experts at Beosin identified last year 167 great attack 3. 3.6 billion dollars were stolen by hackers during these attacks targeting web services. This is a 47.4% increase compared to 2021.
“Crime on the Blockchain […] A significant increase was observed compared to 2021″Beosin explains in its annual report.
A number of studies confirm Beosin’s observation. Already in the first half of last year, Chainalysis, one of the experts in blockchain analysis, noted a sharp increase in hacks. In six months, hackers stole $1.9 billion worth of digital assets.
Favorite targets of hackers in 2022
Unsurprisingly, it is all the decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols that are most under attack. Beosin is taken into account 113 hacks Over 65% of DeFi services identified attacks last year. DeFi projects lost a total of $950 million to hackers in 2022.
It is also among the favorite targets of hackers bridges. A cryptocurrency bridge, also called a gateway, allows the transfer of assets from one blockchain to another. These protocols are critical to the functioning of an ecosystem currently divided into an ocean of networks. During these operations, attackers use a security flaw discovered in the protocol to delete funds in transit.
Beosin has identified 12 major bridge attacks in 2022. Dozens of these incidents resulted in the disappearance of bridges. $1.89 billion. Bridges are the most profitable targets for pirates. These attacks are also part of the top 10 hacks of the past year.
The Ronin hack, a parallel network to the Ethereum blockchain, remains the most profitable hack of the past year. At the end of the attack in March, the thieves disappeared with 624 million dollars. The funds were stolen through a bridge connecting the Ronin blockchain to other blockchains. North Korean hackers from the Lazarus group are suspected of instigating the entire operation. We should mention the hacking of Wormhole ($326 million), Nomad ($190 million) and even Harmony ($100 million).
Funds are usually transferred after hacks cryptocurrency mixing service, which makes it possible to anonymize transactions and cover their traces. Tornado Cash, one of the industry’s leading mixers, saw 38.7% of all funds hacked in 2022, or $1.396 million. Blacklisted by the US last summer, Tornado Cash has seen a decline in transfers in favor of alternative solutions.
Also read: What’s in store for cryptocurrency in 2023 after the FTX disaster?
No rest for pirates in 2023
This trend is expected to continue in 2023. In an interview with CoinTelegraph, Beosin CEO Tommy Deng believes that hackers will continue to attack decentralized financial infrastructures in the future:
“As long as there is interest in the cryptocurrency market, the number of hackers will not decrease”.
To protect themselves from cybercriminals, an expert advises Web3 developers to take extra care. According to him, many DeFi protocols ” don’t go through a thorough security test before going live”. De facto, there are bandits the first to detect possible defects security… and certainly don’t hesitate to use them to the detriment of users.
“2022 was a tough year for blockchain security in general, and 2023 has even higher and more urgent demands”Beosin regretfully declares “industrial deficiencies”.
CertiK, a company specializing in blockchain-based project security auditing, shares Beosin’s analysis. For Certic, “That’s why we don’t expect any respite”. The company adds that crypto-asset gateways will remain prime targets criminals. Despite the continuation of the bear market, new attacks are expected to be organized by hacker groups.