Cryptocurrency crime is a significant problem that affects confidence in the market, with hackers stealing billions of dollars worth of digital assets. In 2022 alone, more than $3.5 billion was stolen from cryptocurrency companies in disclosed hacks. This is more than 51% more than in 2021. In addition, the first and fourth quarters of 2022 were historically record-breaking in terms of the value of stolen funds.
Despite the staggering value of stolen funds, they only accounted for 0.44% of the value of the cryptocurrency market at the end of 2022.
In 2022 alone, over $2.2 billion was stolen from crypto businesses through Top 10 hacks chosen by our Investigation Team (eg. Ronin Bridge, FTX Hack, Wormhole Exploit, and others)
Coinfirm blockchain analytics data shows the sum of the stolen funds from the most famous crypto frauds reported by various media. There is no trend change in the analyzed period. Q3 was characterized by the highest value of misappropriated funds (e.g. FTX Hack, BSC Token Hub exploit, or Transit Finance Exploit) and at the same time the smallest number of events was observed in this period.
The upward trend of hacks was maintained with the growing crypto market and the price of Bitcoin and Ethereum at relatively high levels. Along with the decrease in the price of crypto, their amount also decreased.
The last quarter of Q4 2022 shows that large sums have been stolen despite the decrease in hacks. We cannot be sure that these were inside jobs of projects that, seeing the market crash and the collapse of FTX, also decided to “exit”.
Clearly, crypto businesses have much to improve regarding security; vulnerability comes from insufficient security policies and a lack of daily blockchain analytics.
Top 10 Crypto Hacks in 2022
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Ronin Bridge Exploit
On March 23rd 2022, the gaming-focused Ronin network suffered a major security breach. The attack resulted in the loss of over 173,600 Ether (ETH) and 25.5 million USD Coin USDC for a combined value of more than $612 million.
On 2nd February 2022, a hacker manipulated Wormhole, Solana’s bridge, to credit 120k ETH on Ethereum. This allowed them to mint the equivalent amount of wrapped whETH (Wormhole ETH) on Solana.
On August 2nd, 2022, an attacker and copycats were able to exploit a bug in the Nomad bridge contract and withdraw over $190 million worth of cryptocurrency from the platform.
In September 2022, United Kingdom-based market-maker Wintermute found their hot wallet had been compromised. Approximately $160 million worth of 70 different tokens were stolen from the wallet in what was one of the biggest security breaches to date.
On June 23rd, 2022, the Horizon Bridge of the Harmony layer-1 blockchain was exploited in a major heist. Over $100 million worth of altcoins were stolen within just 18 minutes through 11 transactions that originated from the bridge.
On the evening of January 27th, 2022, an unknown hacker successfully exploited a vulnerability in Qubit Finance’s Ethereum-BSC bridge. This exploit allowed them to amass 77,162 qXETH tokens.