Despite the bear market, the cryptocurrency industry remains a favorite target of black hat hackers.
According to CoinMarketCap, the market capitalization of the cryptocurrency market was approximately $934.85 billion as of the end of the third quarter of 2022, down 43.56% from the first quarter of the same year and more than 60% from the $3 trillion recorded in November 2021.
In addition to classic techniques such as phishing, black hat hackers (black hat pirates) they use very sophisticated methods to attack DeFi platforms and blockchain bridges. Unlike ethical (white hat) hackers who generally mean well, black hat hackers are malicious. The term “blackhat” comes from 1950s gangster films in which the offenders wore black hats.
According to Immunefi, over 168 crypto rug pulls and hacks (including cases of fraud and hacking attempts) were reported last year. According to the platform, the Web3 ecosystem lost $3.9 billion in 2022. Much of this amount ($3.7 billion) it was stolen in 134 crypto hacks. The remaining amount ($175 million) it was lost in 34 accidents.
DeFi remains the weak link
As in previous years, DeFi has remained a prime target for black hat hackers. Last year, hacks cost DeFi platforms $3.1 billion, a 56.2% increase from the $2.4 billion lost in 2021. According to a report data aggregator Coin operated terminalcross-chain bridges are victims of 50% of cyber attacks.
Instead, centralized platforms (CeFi) seem to be spared from hackers. In 2022, they suffered just 13 attacks for a total amount of $769 million, which represents an 87.3% decrease from the $6 billion stolen in 2021.
BNB Chain and Ethereum: Fertile Ground for Hacks
According to the same source, 63.3% of on-chain attacks were made on BNB Chain and Ethereum, making them the two most hacked blockchains in 2022.
In fact, 36.1% of the attacks were carried out on BNB Chain, which represents a 51.2% increase over 2021. For its part, Ethereum has experienced 49 incidents. (compared to 45 in 2021), accounting for 27.2% of the total number of blockchain hacks. Solana finished third with a total of 12 kills. She is closely followed by Avalanche, Polygon and NEAR and Polkadot who only suffered one attack.
According to research by Immunefi, “other blockchains such as Gnosis, Cronos, Arbitrum, Fantom together accounted for 21.7% of total blockchain attacks.”
A difficult fourth quarter for the cryptocurrency market
Since November, the FTX affair has dominated all discussions in the cryptocurrency sphere. In the early hours of November 12, the cryptocurrency exchange lost several million dollars in a hack whose author is none other than Sam Bankman-Fried. A few days earlier, FTX filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
In the fourth quarter, DeFi platforms experienced 55 crypto attacks, costing them a total of $1.2 billion, or 41% of their annual losses. Most of the losses came from FTX and BNB Chain.
Other decentralized platforms were attacked in Q1, including the Ronin Network and Wormhole, which lost $625 million and $326 million, respectively. It should also be noted that nearly $400 million of the funds stolen from the Ronin Network came from the Axie Infinity game.
Other crypto hacks that made headlines include Nomad ($190 million), BNB Chain ($570 million), and FTX which lost $650 million, or 60% of its total Q4 losses.
Part of the funds have been recovered
Of the $3.9 billion stolen by hackers, about $204 million has been recovered, according to the report. However, this represents only 5.2% of total losses in 2022.
For example, Multichain, a DeFi protocol attacked in January by an anonymous hacker, was able to convince its captor to return 50% of the stolen funds. By the end of the year, Multichain users had recovered $2.6 million of the stolen $3 million.
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