Hack, more, more and hackers – The year 2022 was the scene of a series of disappearances of funds and thefts, at the heart of cryptographic protocols. Insane sums, estimated at almost $3 billion in the last year, disappeared into the depths of the blockchain. As such, 2021 is also a small player next door, with its 2 billion fighting a duel. Let’s go back to a year 2022 full of colors and tricks of all kinds.
Bridges, real bridges between your funds and the hackers
Wormhole, the hole in the racket: 326 million dollars
The year started strong with the hack of wormhole bridge. A bridge to transfer funds between the Ethereum blockchain and its sister ship Solana. A flaw in the allowed code siphon hundreds of thousands of ETH user wallets in early February. Not less than 326 million dollars it flew off to other skies, like a Rocket Squad hurled into the air by an enraged Pikachu’s lightning attack.
Should we see the worm as half empty or half full? However, the hole was quickly filled 120,000 ETH out of nowhere to avoid a cataclysm that could have wiped out DeFi on Solana. Calendar coincidence or premonition? And yet, a few days earlier, in mid-January, Vitalik Buterinco-founder ofEthereum, put doubts on bridge safety cross chain. Like Wormhole generally. The future hastened to prove him right.
Game over for Axie Infinity: $600 million
The following month, at the end of March, it is 173,600 ETH up in smoke for the famous game Play to earn Axie Infinite. He’s around 600 million dollars at the time of the flight. Exploiting a flaw, hackers believed to be the Lazarus groupNorth Korean hackers, undermined the Ronin blockchain the game ran on. To add another layer, two months later, it was the game’s Discord server a is being attacked.
The stolen funds would be later transformed into bitcoins.
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Bridge doesn’t lack for Harmony: $100 million
In support of the thesis of Vitalik Buterin, another crypto bridge is in the throes of a hack in June 2022. That of the Harmony blockchain. Undoubtedly, transferring your cryptocurrencies to another blockchain is a risky process. Again, a security breach has occurred allowed a hacker to steal 85,860 ETHi.e. close to $100 million at the time of the crime.
in question ? A weakness in the management of the multisig process responsible for guaranteeing the ETH bridge. A bug still spotted a few weeks upstream by a user. However, at the time he received no reaction from the team. They took it badly.
Failing to be an isolated hacker, becomes Nomad – 190 million dollars
Poof, gone. Who is the new victim? I give it to you in the mile. A new bridge. Nomadic. A bridge to transfer funds from Ethereum to blockchains like Evmos, Moonbeam or Milkomeda. In early August, it’s drama. The almost all deposited funds are stolen. He’s around 190 million dollars.
The flaw comes from the code, the process() function to be precise. And unlike most hacks, no fewer than 41 addresses took part in the attack. So several hackers would have acted simultaneously. the famous Tornado Cash protocol it then made it possible to cover the traces of the final destination of these funds.
However, the next day, the Nomad teams fought back. They announce that all hackers who return at least 90% of the stolen amount will be considered white hats. That is to say, no legal action would be taken against them. Even if that’s not all, the maneuver, judicious to say the least, made it possible to do so quickly recover $36 million.
Wintermute, a mid-winter crypto hack: $160 million
The market making platform winter wetsuit it also has is the subject of a major hack last September. The platform’s DeFi operations have also been affected. Their pendant CeFi and OTC (Over The Counter) have been spared. In the words of its CEO, Evgeny Gaevoy, this did not affect the solvency of the platform which still held after the theft more than double the stolen amount in equity. Touched, but not sunk.
Furthermore, of the assets hijacked by the hackers, only two were stolen in proportions exceeding $1 million. Not enough to have a major impact on the prices of said cryptocurrencies.
Hack into chaos, every blockchain is a hacker to catch
The BNB Chain, an open hack operation: 500 million dollars
The beginning of October is the Binance Token Hub targeted. Hackers are definitely not shy. This resulted in more than 2 million BNB tokens being stolen, which is roughly at the time 500 million dollars in cryptocurrency. Again this is a bridge issue. It takes developers several hours to develop a patch before they can relaunch the blockchain, which was shut down during the flaw investigation.
A real hacker hunt ensues in which Binance analysts follow the trail of the thief. Funds are quickly dispersed across 3 blockchains: Ethereum, Fantom and Polygon. However, $400 million, the majority of the sum, may have been frozen before leaving the Binance blockchain.
Mango Markets, fishing for the giant hack (bricot) – 100 million dollars
In October it is also up to the Solana blockchain to pay the price of a big hack. And God knows then that’s not the end of his pains at this end of the year. Indeed, the FTX bankruptcy a month later it will have a significant impact on the ecosystem. For now, 112 million dollars are disappearing in smoke. An oracle-related flaw would allow the attacker to artificially inflate his collateral to borrow far more funds than he needed to get.
The hacker eventually will be found two months later by the FBI in Puerto Rico. Those who claimed to have acted legally and within the limits of the DeFi protocol will see if justice proves them right or not. Currently he is accused of fraud and market manipulation.
FTX, the hacker’s fault for the failed exchange: 400 million dollars
What would a hack series be without the FTX platform? The latter, not content with stealing funds from her clients, has found herself herself duped by a malicious hacker. Time will tell if this was an internal corporate hack or not. The amount subtracted is no less substantial, 400 million dollars. Mid-November is therefore another nightmare for clients who are already deprived of their funds. Indeed, while any withdrawal remained impossible, FTX wallet addresses, closely monitored by the crypto community, suddenly began to disperse their funds across various networks.
The thief would, however, in all likelihood far from being an expert on the subject. Not content with using a wallet address of the Kraken platform in the maneuver, he would also have used platforms such as Uniswap, 1Inch or Cowswap to convert the stolen tokens. In particular, she allegedly lost a lot of money trying to move her loot from place to place to cover his tracks.
Ankr a hack never ends: $6 million
The beginning of December is the DeFi protocol Ankr who undergoes a major hack. It is about 20 trillion aBNBc, the equivalent of BNB on the Ankr network, which arise out of nowhere, causing the price of the token to immediately fall to zero. Far from converting the entire jackpot in time, the perpetrators still managed to get away with $6 million stolen and sent to Uniswap or Tornado Cash.
The crypto ecosystem remains a risky sector, on this point we are very hackers. However, it is also a very promising and future-oriented field of technology. A domain in its adolescent stage, in the throes of a destructive creation which, depending on the many innovations it updates, inevitably suffers attacks. The downside of any emerging technology. This does not detract from the blockchain and cryptocurrencies which carry great values. Fundamentals that may one day allow us to finally acquire the financial freedom who keeps us so hackers.
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