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Study: Crypto hackers stole more than $2.5 billion over three quarters in 2022

Study: Crypto hackers stole more than $2.5 billion over three quarters in 2022

Cybercriminals are still aggressively exploiting blockchain technology and initiating scams, although the cryptocurrency industry is now experiencing a significant market correction. 

In the third quarter of 2022, hackers were successful in stealing about $483 million in total, although there was a 43% decrease in the number of blockchain hacks in the most recent quarter compared to Q2, according to the findings of an analysis conducted by Atlas VPN shared with Finbold on October 25.

The total money lost to blockchain hackers over the three quarters was a total of $2,570,117,825, with the amount of money that was lost determined by using the conversion rate of a specific cryptocurrency at the time when the hack or fraud occurred.

Money lost to blockchain by quarter. Source: Atlas VPN

The figures used in the analysis were compiled by Slowmist Hacked, an organization that records information on assaults that are publicly reported against blockchain projects.

Ethereum suffers the most losses

The Ethereum (ETH) ecosystem sustained the most losses, totaling $348 million across 11 attacks. Hacker strikes cost the cross-chain interoperability technology Nomad bridge and the crypto market Wintermute around $160 million.

On the list of the most severe losses, the Polkadot (DOT) ecosystem ranks second. Polkadot crypto projects lost $52 million in only two hacking incidents. Meanwhile, the Binance Smart Chain (BSC) ecosystem was hacked 13 times and lost $28 million in cryptocurrency, with hackers targeting the BSC-related crypto projects the most.

Simultaneously, the Solana (SOL) ecosystem lost over $6 million in cryptocurrency in three hack attacks. Across four occurrences, blockchain-related attacks resulted in $5.1 million in damages. Three times, cybercriminals attacked cryptocurrency exchanges and stole $6.8 million.

Crypto-related hacks by crypto project. Source: Atlas VPN

Meanwhile, non-fungible token (NFT) netted cybercriminals over $4 million over the course of seven events. Other crypto-related projects lost $29.5 million in cryptocurrency as a result of 10 attacks. 

Notably, the amount of money lost to blockchain hackers has been decreasing quarter after quarter. From over $1.3 billion in the first quarter of 2022 to $810 million in the second quarter of 2022. Total losses were reduced by 40% in the third quarter, totaling $483 million.

There were 55 blockchain hacks in Q3 2022, down from 96 in Q2. Data from the third quarter of 2021 reveals a 28% drop in blockchain incidents compared to the third quarter of this year. If the cryptocurrency market continues to slide, the fourth quarter will likely see a similar amount of hacks to the third.

Crypto-related hack events by quarter. Source: Atlas VPN

Nevertheless, if we examine the first three quarters of 2021 and 2022, we can see that the number of hacks on blockchains has climbed by 39% this year, increasing from 166 instances in 2021 to 230 in 2022.

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