Crypto hacks have become more frequent over the last few years, affecting millions of people who make money with digital currencies worldwide.
However, in 2022, some crypto hacks made headlines in the mainstream media and became famous after causing over $1 billion in damages in the online market.
Here are the top 10 crypto hacks that affected investors, entrepreneurs, and everyone else in 2022.
One of the major crypto hacks in 2022 happened in the Axie Infinity video game that works as an NFT and is supported by the Ronin Network.
According to the official website of the Ronin Network, this security breach happened on March 23 but was later discovered on the 29 of that same month by developer Sky Mavis.
This was possible thanks to a report made by a user that it couldn’t withdraw 5k ETH from the bridge, which led to a large-scale investigation.
It was discovered that the attack was performed by various hackers who exploited the blockchain nodes making use of compromised private keys to forge fake withdrawals and steal the money.
In the end, the hackers took $625 million dollars worth of crypto assets in two transactions, including 173,600 Ethereum and 25.5 USDC from the Ronin bridge.
The BNB chain also suffered a big crypto hack on October 6 after detecting a potential exploit in their systems and temporarily halting their operations to fix this problem.
After this happened, the blockchain security firm SlowMist reported that a hacker stole over 2 million BNB tokens in the Binance network, valued at $570 million at that time.
This attack was possible after the hacker exploited the Binance bridge using a bug in the smart contract and used it to send two transactions of 1M BNB to their wallet before they could patch this vulnerability.
Then it tried to move the stolen BNB through various bridges and divide it into different cryptocurrencies, which include the following.
Thankfully, the BNB Chain informed that $7 million in assets were frozen before the hacker could transfer them elsewhere and that the attacker could only get between $70M and $80M from the total number of tokens.
The next crypto hack on the list happened in the Wormhole bridge that people use to move their NFTs between Ethereum and Solana networks.
On February 2, the Wormhole team announced on Twitter that their network was under maintenance to investigate a potential exploit and later confirmed the security breach to their users.
The attacker discovered this exploit after someone updated their GitHub repository with a bug fix before deploying it to the main project.
This mistake allowed the attacker to forge a valid signature for a transaction and use it to mint on the Solana blockchain an equivalent of 120,000 wrapped Ethereum without inputting the same amount first.
The company reported that the total amount stolen was estimated at around $325 million after the investigation and also caused the value of Solana to dip 10% after the hack.
Almost $200 million of digital assets were stolen during the Nomad Bridge crypto hack on August 1, 2022.
According to the Web3 investment firm Paradigm and other security researchers, this hack happened because of a misconfiguration in the smart contracts from the main project.
This exploit allowed the hacker to bypass the verification process and authorize withdrawals to their wallets without much effort.
The worst part about this hack was that other people took advantage of this exploit after the attack since it was very easy to replicate and didn’t require a prior understanding of how the code works.
This situation led to a massive loss of crypto assets that affected its users and escalated until the Nomad lost more than $190 million from this incident.
Wintermute was also the victim of a big crypto hack in 2022 after someone attacked their DeFi operations, and their CEO confirmed the loss of $160 million in crypto assets.
According to the researchers in the investigation team, the hacker could have used a vulnerability inside the vanity wallet addresses after someone published a blog post about the exploit created by an address generator tool named profanity.
Through this method, the hacker could derive the wallet’s private keys using the help of the addresses generated by profanity.
Thanks to this, the hacker managed to transfer the money from Winemute to a personal wallet and steal millions of dollars in stablecoins like USDC, Tether, Wrapped ETH, and more.
Another major crypto hack in 2022 occurred in Harmony’s Horizon Bridge when some of their private keys were compromised, including the ones used to sign unauthorized transactions in the blockchain.
This opportunity allowed the hacker to steal crypto assets in the form of BUSB, USDC, ETH, and WBTC, which he then swapped for ETH.
Researchers estimate that the hacker stole $100 million after the attack on June 23, which made law enforcement agencies and other security firms conduct a large-scale manhunt to capture the criminal.
Thankfully, on June 24, they identified 78 million $AAG tokens linked to the crypto hack in the Lossless platform and prevented the hacker from stealing all the money.
They were also able to return the crypto to their owners and proposed to mint billions of new ONE tokens for all the victims of this attack to reimburse their losses.
The DeFi project Beanstalk was another case of a high-profile crypto hack that happened in 2022, where the attacker took advantage of a security loophole to steal money from the platform.
This was possible after manipulating the voting governance system inside the blockchain to change the rules to their benefit.
Then, the hacker used a flash loan to gain a large number of Beanstalk tokens and get their proposals approved, including moving crypto assets into their wallet.
Through this attack, Beanstalk lost $80 million alone, and experts calculated their total loss to be around $182 million after its BEAN coin collapse.
The Qubit Qbridge crypto hack was the first high-profile case in 2022, where hackers stole around $80 million worth of crypto assets from the platform.
According to the official statements from their team, the attack happened on January 21 around 5 PM Eastern Time.
At this time, the hacker was able to exploit a security flaw in the smart contract code to send a deposit with zero ETH and withdraw close to $80 million in BNB coins in return.
After this attack, the Qubit Qbridge had severe losses and offered the maximum reward in their bug bounty program to the hacker, trying to get the crypto back.
The Cashio app was another target for a crypto hack that ended up costing $52.8 million, according to an investigation conducted by Bybit.
During this investigation, they found that the attacker stole the money using an infinite mint glitch that allowed him to mint two billion Cashio tokens, also known as CASH.
Then, he burnt some of those tokens for the Saber USDT-USDC LP tokens and swapped them to get $10.8M USDT and $16.4M USDC.
With his remaining CASH tokens, the attacker got $17M USDC and $8.6M UST through Saber.
However, the hacker left a message hidden inside the transaction that anyone could read after viewing it in the UTF-8 format.
“Accounts with less than 100k have been returned. All other money will be donated to charity”.
After this attack, the hacker kept his word and returned the funds stolen with less than 100k, and many speculate that he donated the rest to charity in support of the victims of the war in Ukraine.
The last crypto hack on the list where the attackers stole millions of dollars from its users happened on the Sports NFT platform Lympo on January 10, 2022.
In this attack, the hackers gained access to the hot wallets used to run all the business operations at Lympo and transferred 165.2 million LMT tokens to their wallets.
These tokens were later swapped for ETH on both SushiSwap and Uniswap, making the final amount of money stolen equivalent to $18.7 million.
As a result of this attack, the price of the LMT token went down 92% until it reached $0.0093 after the attack.
If you want to avoid losing all your money to these crypto hacks and protect your investments in the long run, you must only use platforms that have a proven track record of low vulnerabilities in the past.
You also have to move all of your crypto assets to a cold storage wallet every time you make a trade on the internet that is worth at least $500 or more.
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