Published on by Denis Lapalus
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Interest in cryptocurrencies is declining worldwide – the NFT market is shrinking and Bitcoin is experiencing the biggest price drop in 11 years. Yet cybercriminals 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 hacks for crypto projects in the first half of 2022.
Ethereum: the most popular among hackers
The Ethereum ecosystem suffered the most, with over $ 1 billion stolen in 32 events. The biggest hack in the ecosystem belongs to Ronin, an Ethereum side chain designed for the popular non-fungible token game Axie Infinity. Attackers stole over $ 600 million in Ether and USDC. The data is based on figures provided by Slowmist Hacked, which collects information on revealed attacks on 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 financial 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 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 drained from Qubit’s QBridge protocol.
NFTs not omitted by theft
Meanwhile, non-fungible token projects (NFT) earned cybercriminals $ 84.6 million in 45 events, while the Phantom ecosystem earned $ 54.8 million in 8 events.
The rest of the crypto projects suffered by cybercriminals 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, the 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 events. Losses from other crypto-related cybercrime events amounted to $ 236.2 million. In total, there were 24 such incidents.
Cybercrime linked to the Crypto project almost doubled in the first half of 2022
Cryptocurrencies are often advertised as a more secure alternative to traditional payment methods, but the numbers tell a different story. In fact, the number of cybercrime incidents related to cryptocurrency projects is constantly increasing.
If we compare the figures for this year and last year, the number of cybercrime affecting crypto projects has increased by 94%, from 90 in the first half of 2021 to 175 in the first half of 2022. In the first quarter of 2022, there were 79 cybercrime events. , 108% more than 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, the number of cybercrime increased by more than one-fifth (22%) between the first quarter of this year and the second. May was the toughest month for crypto projects with 37 hacking and scam events in a single month.
The security of cryptocurrency projects leaves much to be desired. Until security issues are resolved, the irreversible and decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies will continue to make cryptocurrencies one of the top targets for cybercriminals.