Hackers stole BRL 19 billion worth of cryptocurrencies and broke a record in 2022

Hackers stole BRL 19 billion worth of cryptocurrencies and broke a record in 2022

As companies crashed and fired into the cryptocurrency market, hackers took the opportunity to rob their victims at an accelerated pace, stealing a record 19 billion reais.

It is worth remembering that in 2021, a study published by Chainalysis estimated cryptocurrency theft at $3.3 billion. With a growth of 15% to US$ 3.8 billion, the record went to 2022.

During the period, the month of October stood out as the month with the highest hacker activity in the cryptocurrency market. During the month, $775 million was stolen in 32 different attacks, focusing on the BNB Chain and Mango Markets hacks.

After stealing more than $19 million worth of cryptocurrencies, hackers are looking at DeFi solutions

Still in 2022, the month of March saw the hacking attack against Axie Infinity and others, with $733 million stolen in that period.

The data, contained in Chainalysis’s 2023 Crypto Crime report, also reveals a shift in attack targeting. For example, until 2020, hackers mainly focused on centralized exchanges.

However, the main victims operate on Decentralized Finance (or DeFi) protocols, which will account for approximately 82.1%, or USD 3.1 billion, of all stolen cryptocurrencies in 2022. The growth is 73.3% compared to the total of 2021.

According to Kim Grauer, research director who contributed to the study, DeFi attracts cryptocurrency hackers.

“DeFi is one of the most attractive and fastest growing areas of the cryptocurrency ecosystem, largely because of its transparency. But that same transparency also makes DeFi so vulnerable: hackers can scan DeFi code for vulnerabilities and strike at the perfect moment to commit theft. DeFi protocols are still essential to the future of the crypto ecosystem and their transparency offers many important benefits. But to grow, thrive and eventually break into the mainstream, these protocols must prioritize security.”

North Korean hackers are among the top earners

In studies of hackers’ onchain activities, the bitcoin tracking company was able to determine which North Korean groups benefit the most.

And in 2022, many of these hackers managed to break their own record. Estimates indicate that $1.7 billion has ended up in the hands of criminals from the Asian country that follows the US sanctions list.

In addition, hacks against DeFi protocols may also be primarily responsible for North Koreans. According to the 2022 crime study, $1.1 billion stolen through decentralized finance entered the country, which is 1/3 of the global volume of hacker attacks.

Source: Live Coins