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Hackers loot $1.97bn worth of crypto in first half

According to analysed data by the Atlas VPN Team released recently, crypto thieves have absconded with $1.97 billion from about 175 crypto project hacks in the first half of 2022.

The data represents a surge in criminal activities in the crypto space despite the difficult situation flagship asset bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been experiencing since the beginning of the year.

Crypto project-related cybercrime doubled in H1 of 2022 as the numbers of these events rose by 90 in H1 of 2021 to 175 in H1 of 2022, also the first quarter(Q1) of 2022 saw a 79 cybercrime event, a 108 percent more than Q1 of 2021 with 38 incidents.

Similarly, Q2 of 2022 had 96 cybercrime events, a 85 percent growth compared to 52 in the Q2 of 2021.

Furthermore, the occurrence of cybercrime events increased by 22 percent from the first quarter of 2022 to the year’s second quarter, with May being the worst month of crypto attacks as it recorded 37 incidents.

However, the leading victims of these attacks are the Ethereum ecosystem, which lost over $1 billion in 32 hacking attacks, data disclosed by the SlowMist Hacked show.

Read also: IOSCO publishes its crypto-asset roadmap for 2022-2023

Particularly, the most damaging event was the attack on Ronin which took place in March, an Ethereum sidechain designed for the popular play-to-earn blockchain game Axie infinity (AXS), in which cybercriminals took over $600 million in ETH and USD coins.

Information from the report also disclosed that the Solana ecosystem suffered a loss of $384 million in five scam incidents, stating the largest of the attacks was the exploit of the DeFi platform Wormhole where crypto criminals made away with $326 million.

Binance Smart Chain (BSC) wasn’t excluded as its ecosystem faced a total of 47 attacks in H1 of 2022 and it was drained of $141.4 million, the highest among all networks.

Notably, in January, Qubit Finance suffered an exploit during which $80 million worth of Binance coins (BNB) were drained from Qubit’s QBridge protocol, the report said.

In addition, Non fungible token (NFTs) projects were not safe from cybercriminals either, costing the space $85 million in losses in 45 incidents, however, crypto exchanges were robbed of $36 million in four cyber attacks, while crypto wallets lost $263,382 in two incidents.

Until the security challenges are sorted, the irreversible and decentralised nature of cryptocurrencies will continue to make crypto companies one of the prime targets of cybercriminals, the report noted.

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