Published on from Denis Lapalus
Interest in cryptocurrencies is waning around the world – the NFT market is shrinking and Bitcoin is witnessing the biggest price drop in the last 11 years. However, cyber criminals continue to make billions by targeting various crypto projects.
Scammers stole nearly $ 2 billion in the first half of 2022
According to data analyzed by the Atlas VPN team, cybercriminals looted $ 1.97 billion from 175 cryptographic project hacks in the first half of 2022.
Ethereum: the most popular among hackers
The Ethereum ecosystem has suffered the most, with over $ 1 billion stolen in 32 events. The biggest hack in the ecosystem belongs to Ronin, an Ethereum sidechain designed for the popular non-fungible token game Axie Infinity. Attackers stole over $ 600 million in Ether and USDC. The data is based on data provided by Slowmist Hacked, which collects information on disclosed attacks against blockchain projects. Monetary losses were calculated based on the conversion rate of a particular cryptocurrency at the time of a hack or scam.
The SOLANA ecosystem ranks second on the list. Cybercriminals stole $ 383.9 million from Solana-related projects in just 5 events. The biggest hack in the ecosystem belongs to the decentralized finance platform (DeFi) Wormhole. Attackers exploited a signature verification vulnerability in the platform’s network to create wormhole-wrapped Ether on Solana worth approximately $ 326 million.
Binance Smart Chain (BSC)
Next up is the Binance Smart Chain (BSC) ecosystem, with $ 141.4 million in losses. In total, the BSC ecosystem faced 47 hacking and scam events in the first half of this year, more than any other crypto project. Qubit Finance, based on Binance Smart Chain, suffered an exploit in which $ 80 million in Binance Coins (BNB) was stolen from Qubit’s QBridge protocol.
NFT not excluded from theft
Meanwhile, Non-Fungible Token Projects (NFTs) earned cybercriminals $ 84.6 million in 45 events, while the Fantom ecosystem earned $ 54.8 million in 8 events.
The rest of the crypto projects that cybercriminals suffered in the first half of this year include crypto exchanges with $ 35.8 million lost in 4 events, Polygon ecosystem with $ 13.1 million lost in 2 events, Avalanche ecosystem with $ 8.3 million lost in a single event, Blockchain projects with $ 3.5 million lost in 5 events and crypto wallets with $ 263,382 lost in 2 cyber incidents. Losses from other cryptocurrency-related cybercrime events totaled $ 236.2 million. In total, there were 24 such incidents.
Cybercrime linked to the Crypto project nearly doubled in the first half of 2022
Cryptocurrencies are often advertised as a safer alternative to traditional payment methods, but the numbers tell a different story. In fact, the number of cybercrime events related to cryptocurrency projects is steadily increasing.
If we compare this year’s and last year’s numbers, the number of cybercrimes affecting crypto projects has increased by 94%, from 90 in the first half of 2021 to 175 in the first half of 2022. 2022 saw 79 cybercrime events, 108% more than in the first quarter of 2021 with 38 events. Meanwhile, the second quarter of 2022 recorded 96 cybercrime events, an increase of 85% from 52 in the second quarter of 2021.
Overall, cybercrime events increased by more than a fifth (22%) between the first quarter of this year and the second. May was the toughest month for crypto projects, with 37 hack and scam events in just one month.
The security of cryptocurrency projects leaves a lot to be desired. Until security issues are resolved, the irreversible and decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies will continue to make cryptocurrency companies a prime target for cybercriminals.