• Chainalysis report reveals that hackers stole a record $3.8 billion in 2022
• 82.1% of the stolen funds were taken from DeFi protocols via bridge exploits
• North Korea-linked Lazarus Group was responsible for stealing $1.7 billion of the total amount
Record Breaking Crypto Theft
According to the latest report from blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis, hackers stole roughly $3.8 billion in 2022, making it a record year for stolen digital assets. 82.1% of this amount was stolen from DeFi protocols, mainly via bridge exploits targeting vulnerabilities in code and North Korea-linked hackers Lazarus Group are reported to have stolen roughly $1.7 billion out of the total during the year.
Bridge Exploit Vulnerabilities
Bridge protocols allow for interoperability between blockchains by locking assets in a smart contract on the original chain and creating equivalent assets on the second chain. However, these smart contracts become large centralized repositories of funds, making them prime targets for hackers who can target weaknesses inherent to the code architecture–especially when it comes to DeFi protocols which made up 82.1% ($3.1 Billion) of all crypto thefts in 2022 according to Chainalysis‘ report. The biggest exploit of the year was Axie Infinity’s Ronin bridge hack in March 2022 which saw attackers steal $612 million worth of cryptocurrency before utilizing mixers like Tornado Cash and Chip Mixer to wash their ill-gotten gaints clean.
Rise Of Sinbad As New Mixer Of Choice
As mentioned earlier, crypto mixers such as Tornado Cash and Chip Mixer were utilized by attackers to wash their stolen funds clean however with Tornado Cash’s demise at around mid-2022, new mixer Sinbad has become hackers‘ go-to protocol to launder their stolen assets since then according to Chainalysis‘ report.
October Worst Month For Crypto Theft In 2022
October appears to be have been an especially bad month for cryptocurrency theft as reported by Chainalysis with attackers stealing roughly $775 million during that period alone–making it one of the worst months on record throughout 2022 as far as crypto thefts are concerned according to their research data.
Overall despite improved security measures implemented across various blockchains and DeFi protocols throughout much of 2021, attackers still managed succeed in stealing 3 billion dollars worth cryptocurrency throughout 2022 according mainly due attacks aimed at exploiting vulnerable code architectures present within these platforms–with North Korea’s Lazarus group seemingly being one of main perpetrators behind this surge cryptocrime activity last year alone according recent data from Chainalysis