March 27, 2023
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Cryptocurrency hacks stole record $3.8 billion in 2022

SEOUL — Final 12 months was the worst on record for cryptocurrency heists, with hackers stealing as a lot as $3.8 billion, led by attackers linked to North Korea who netted greater than ever earlier than, a US-based blockchain analytics agency mentioned in a report on Wednesday.

The report by Chainalysis discovered hacking exercise that “ebbed and flowed” all year long, with “huge spikes” in March and October. October was the largest single month ever for cryptocurrency hacking, with $775.7 million stolen in 32 separate assaults, the report mentioned.

The cryptocurrency market floundered in 2022, as danger urge for food diminished and numerous crypto corporations collapsed. Buyers have been left with giant losses and regulators stepped up requires extra shopper safety.

On the time, Chainalysis and different corporations confirmed to Reuters that North Korean-related accounts had misplaced hundreds of thousands of {dollars} in worth.

However that didn’t deter hackers.

North Korea-linked hackers equivalent to these in the cybercriminal syndicate Lazarus Group have been by far essentially the most prolific cryptocurrency hackers, stealing an estimated $1.7 billion value of a number of assaults final 12 months, the report mentioned.

“In 2022, they shattered their own records for theft,” it mentioned.

North Korea has denied allegations of hacking or different cyberattacks.

Based on a panel of specialists monitoring United Nations sanctions, North Korea has more and more relied on hacking to fund its missile and nuclear weapons applications, notably as publicly declared commerce dwindled below sanctions and COVID-19 lockdowns.

“It isn’t a stretch to say that cryptocurrency hacking is a sizable chunk of the nation’s economy,” Chainalysis mentioned.

For the primary time final 12 months, US regulation enforcement seized $30 million in stolen funds from North Korea-linked hackers.

“These hacks will get harder and less fruitful with each passing year,” Chainalysis predicted.

Targets in “decentralized finance” or DeFi, a thriving phase in the cryptocurrency sector, accounted for greater than 82% of the cryptocurrency stolen in 2022, the report mentioned.

DeFi purposes, lots of which run on the Ethereum blockchain, are monetary platforms that allow crypto-denominated lending outdoors of conventional banks.

Final 12 months noticed a record quantity of crypto transactions associated to illicit exercise general, reaching $20.1 billion, Chainalysis mentioned in January. — Reuters

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