Hackers have stolen more than $3 billion in cryptocurrency so far this year, breaking the previous record of $2.1 billion set in 2021, according to blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis.
A large portion of that $3 billion, about $718 million, was taken this month in 11 different hacks, Chainalysis said in a series of tweets posted Wednesday.
“October is now the biggest month of the biggest year for hacking activity, with more than half the month to go,” the company he tweeted.
In previous years, hackers focused their efforts on attacking crypto exchanges, but those companies have since beefed up their security, Chainalysis said. These days, cybercriminals are targeting “cross-chain bridges,” which allow investors to transfer digital assets and data between different blockchains.
Bridges hold many cryptocurrencies, providing a larger and more complex arena for hackers to penetrate, according to cybersecurity experts.
“Cross-bridges remain a major target for hackers, with three bridges breached this month and nearly $600 million stolen, accounting for 82% of losses this month and 64% of losses all year,” said Chainalysis.
Hackers originally from me $570 million in cryptocurrency from Binance, but company officials have minimized losses below $100 million, its chief executive said last week. Hackers also hit Nomad in August, reportedly taking nearly $200 million. Both the Binance and Nomad attacks were cases of hackers exploiting security flaws in cross-chain bridge trading protocols.
Crypto.com, known for its recent $700 million deal rename the former Staples Center in Los Angeles, said in January that hackers were able to bypass the two-factor authentication system and withdraw money from 483 customer accounts. Harmony lost about $100 million in one hack in June. Wormhole Crypto Platforms and Ronin Network were also targeted by hackers this year.
In total, Chainalysis said there have been 125 hacks so far this year.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said in an interview with CNBC last week that the crypto industry is vulnerable to hackers whenever customers transfer assets from one blockchain to another, but the goal is to find out what caused it. the hack and develop additional safeguards in the future.
Cryptocurrency is not federally regulated or FDIC insured like a bank account, meaning that if an account is compromised, the government will not work to restore a customer’s funds.