According to blockchain analytics company Chainalysis, hackers have stolen more than $3 billion in cryptocurrencies so far this year, breaking the previous record of $2.1 billion established in 2021.
In a string of tweets published on Wednesday, Chainalysis said that a sizable portion of that $3 billion, or roughly $718 million, was stolen this month in 11 different thefts.
With more than half the month remaining, the business stated that “October is currently the biggest month in the biggest year ever for hacker activity.”
How cryptocurrencies are exploited.
Crypto exchanges were the target of hacking attacks in the past, but Chainalysis says those businesses have now improved their security. Cross-chain bridges, which let investors transfer digital assets and data between multiple blockchains, are becoming a target for thieves.
According to cybersecurity experts, the bridges store a lot of cryptocurrency, making them a bigger and more complicated target for hackers.
According to Chainalysis, “Cross-chain bridges continue to be a top target for hackers, with three bridges compromised this month and approximately $600 million taken, accounting for 82% of losses this month and 64% of losses overall.”
Hackers stole $570 million in bitcoin from Binance at first, but according to business authorities, the losses have been reduced to under $100 million, the CEO of the company revealed last week. In August, hackers reportedly stole close to $200 million from Nomad. Hackers took advantage of security holes in the cross-chain bridge transaction protocols in both the Binance and Nomad hacks.
Hackers were able to get over Crypto.com’s two-factor authentication mechanism and remove money from 483 customer accounts in January. Crypto.com is most known for its recent $700 million purchase to rename the former Staples Center in Los Angeles. In a hack in June, Harmony lost around $100 million. Hackers also targeted the cryptocurrency services Wormhole and Ronin Network this year.
All told, Chainalysis reported that 125 hacks have occurred so far this year.
When users transfer assets from one blockchain to another, according to Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, the crypto sector is exposed to hackers. However, the goal is to learn from the hack and create more security measures going forward.
Because cryptocurrency is neither federally regulated or FDIC insured like a bank account, the government will not try to recover a customer’s funds if an account is compromised.