Blockchain data analytics company Chainalysis has labeled October as the “biggest month in the biggest year ever for hacking activity.” Irrespective of the bear market, hackers have already managed to pull off $718 million in exploits on Decentralized Finance (DeFi) protocols so far in October.
“Back in 2019, most hacks targeted centralized exchanges, and prioritizing security went a long way. Now a vast majority of targets are DeFi protocols,” Chainalysis said.
Cross-chain bridges are the major target for hackers
Chainalysis said about 11 DeFi protocols have been hacked this month, three of which involved cross-chain bridges. The losses from these bridges accounted for 82% or $600 million of total crypto-assets stolen from DeFi month. “Cross-chain bridges remain a major target for hackers,” Chainalysis said.
Since the beginning of 2022, hackers have conducted about 125 hacks and netted more than $3 billion. Also, a significant portion of the stolen (64%) were pulled from bridges.
Binance cross-chain bridge, BSC Token Hub, is among the latest exploits this month. Hackers reportedly exploited a vulnerability in the contract to mint 2 million BNB, worth around $570 million. However, the hackers only withdrew about $100 million of the hacked fund, while the remaining funds were later frozen by BNB Chain developers.
Chainalysis: Hackers are resilient in spite of the bear market
While illicit transactions from investment scams appear to have decreased, hackers seem resilient in the face of the cryptocurrency bear market. Notably, crypto prices have fallen significantly since the beginning of the year.
The largest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin (BTC), has dropped over 55% since January, likewise other major altcoins, including Ether (ETH). Following the current rate at which DeFi protocols are being exploited, Chainalysis said 2022 might likely surpass 2021 as the record year for hacking activities.