Customers Lost $2.1 Billion in the Biggest Cryptocurrency Hacks of 2022

Customers Lost $2.1 Billion in the Biggest Cryptocurrency Hacks of 2022

In 2022, malicious actors managed to drain crypto-related companies of at least $2.1 billion.

2022 has been a challenging year for the crypto industry. The crypto ecosystem was shaken by the collapse of the multi-million dollar crypto empire, crypto asset prices falling drastically, and hackers draining crypto-related firms almost daily.

In October, blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis called 2022 “the biggest year ever for hacking activity.”

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It is worth noting that, during the ten biggest exploits of 2022, hackers managed to steal around $2.1 billion from crypto investors.

The Ronin bridge hack, which took place on March 23rd, was the biggest this year and the largest hack to ever take place. The Ethereum sidechain was exploited for around $612 million. The hackers obtained 173,600 ETH and 25.5 million USD Coin (USDC). Based on some reports, malicious actors gained access to private keys, compromised validators and approved transactions, draining the bridge for over half a billion.

The second hack was executed relatively recently. On November 11th and 12th, several unauthorized transactions drained cryptocurrency exchange FTX wallets of around $477 million. It is worth noting that, on December 27th, the United States Department of Justice launched an investigation into the $400 million exploit.

At the beginning of February, Wormhole token bridge experienced an exploit, which resulted in 120,000 Wrapped Ether (wETH) tokens worth $321 million stolen. It is believed that the hacker took advantage of a vulnerability in the protocol’s smart contract and exploited the bridge.

The fourth largest exploit this year happened in August when the Nomad token bridge was exploited for approximately $190 million. The exploit was caused by a smart contract vulnerability, which failed to validate transaction inputs.

The fifth-largest hack impacted crypto-market maker Wintermute, which suffered from compromised hot wallets and lost around $160 million.

Other significant hacks and exploits include the BNB Chain bridge exploit and the Harmony bridge hack, where hackers stole around $100 million. The Top 10 hack list also contains the Qubit Finance bridge exploit, which resulted in approximately $80 million stolen. Rari Fuse exploit, which took place on April 30th, saw DeFi protocol being drained of $79.3 million. Lastly, the list is concluded by Beanstalk Farms, which suffered a $76 million exploit.

Gile K. - Crypto Analyst

by Gile K. - Crypto Analyst, BitDegree