The Year of the Hack: 2022 Crypto Exploits on Pace to Crush Record 2021

by BSC News

October 18, 2022


With half of October still left to go, the month has already seen a record $718 million in crypto hacks, with 2022 set to surpass 2021's ignominious mark.

More Than $3B Lost to Crypto Hacks in 2022 and Counting

“October is now the biggest month in the biggest year ever for hacking activity, with more than half the month still to go.” -- That statement from Chainalysis just about says it all.

According to the on-chain data analysis firm, a record $718 million has been lost this month from exploits of 11 different Decentralized Finance (DeFi) protocols. This year, more than $3 billion has been lost from 125 attacks.

Last year saw a record amount of hacks, and 2022 is on pace to shatter that record.

Chainalysis posted a Twitter thread reviewing the year in hacks so far:

Here are some highlights:

  • Primary targets are cross-chain bridges, with three bridges being exploited in October only.
  • Nearly $600 million was stolen via bridges in October only, which accounts for 82% of all funds lost.
  • Over $1.92 billion, or 64% of all funds stolen in 2022, has been lost in the crypto space through cross-chain bridges.
  • Crypto hacks and attacks are now targeting DeFi, unlike in 2019 and other early years when they concentrated on centralized exchanges.
  • Over $428 million was lost in Q3, and Q4’s losses may be multiples of that.
  • The largest-ever hack occurred in March as the Axie Infinity Ronin bridge was exploited for more than $625 million.

During the first week of October, hackers exploited the BSC Token Hub cross-chain bridge, essentially minting 2 million new BNB (value of about $580 million) that they sent to themselves in two separate transfers.

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