Cryptocurrency News

Chainalysis: October is Now the Leading Month in the ‘Biggest Year Ever’ for Crypto Hacks

By October 13, 2022 No Comments
hacker in a hoodie cover image

Key takeaways:

  • The month of October saw $718 million in hacked funds across 12 different attacks
  • Chainalsys said DeFi hacks had become the most prevalent, while attacks on centralized exchanges were the most frequent in the past
  • 2022 will overtake 2021 as the year with the most hacking activity “at this rate”

Barely halfway through the month and we’ve already seen 12 different hacks

While the crypto sector has always had issues with software exploits, which comes with the territory when using nascent technology, the last couple of weeks have been out of the norm. 

According to blockchain analytics company Chainalysis, it barely took two full weeks for October 2022 to become the month with the most “hacking activity” this year. Driving the point home even further is the fact that Chainalysis didn’t even manage to include the XEN Crypto hack in yesterday’s report. The newly launched crypto was hacked earlier today, with the attacker walking away with 61 ETH.

So far, last year holds the lead as the biggest on record by the total amount of hacked funds, with more than $3.1 billion across 125 hacks. However, 2022 is within striking distance, having already touched the $3 billion mark.

Chainalysis highlighted the fact that hacks targeting decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms have become the most prevalent, while three years ago, most attacks focused on centralized exchanges (CEXs):

“Back in 2019, most hacks targeted centralized exchanges, and prioritizing security went a long way. Now a vast majority of targets are DeFi protocols.”

Case in point, the most significant share of $718 million in losses accrued during October came from three cross-bridge hacks. Arguably the most high-profile case among them was the $100 million BNB Chain exploit that took place on October 5, forcing Binance Smart Chain (BSC) validators to momentarily halt the blockchain. It is worth noting that the software vulnerability in the cross-chain bridge BSC Token Hub has since been patched thanks to the “Moran” hard fork.

Another massive exploit occurred on October 12, with $118 million being siphoned from the Solana-based DeFi trading platform Mango. The attacker managed to drastically inflate the price of Mango’s native token, MNGO, and then took out loans against the inflated asset.

The Chainalys team believes that “at this rate,” 2022 will overtake 2021 in terms of the total amount of hacked funds.