As the cryptocurrency world grows and changes, so do the ways that cybercriminals try to take advantage of weaknesses in decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms. In February 2023, hackers managed to steal $21.41 million worth of digital assets from DeFi protocols, a significant increase from the previous month.
While this number may seem alarming, it is just a small fraction of the $3.8 billion that was stolen from cryptocurrency businesses in 2022, according to a recent report by market intelligence firm Chainalysis.
Hackers are now mostly going after DeFi protocols. Cross-chain bridges, which are the most vulnerable part, will be responsible for 64% of the total amount stolen in 2022.
According to data from DeFi Llama, a site that keeps track of the total value locked (TVL) of digital currencies, the number of DeFi attacks on decentralized platforms in February 2023 was much higher than in January. Reports say that the cybercrime against DeFi cost crypto hackers $740,000 in the month of January.
In October 2022, a record-breaking $775.7 million of digital assets were stolen in 32 separate cyberattacks, making it the biggest month for crypto hacking ever.
Chainalysis has also noticed that crypto hackers still go after DeFi platforms the most in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Last year, crypto hacks resulted in a loss of $3.1 billion across all cryptocurrencies; surprisingly, 83% of this amount came from crypto fraudulent activities within DeFi protocol platforms. Moreover, cross-chain bridges are the biggest specific targets within DeFi, accounting for 64% of the total losses at $3.1 billion.
Furthermore, the Non-Fungible Tokens have also remained a major hotspot for crypto hackers. Just in the course of a year, scammers have exploited millions of dollars of capital from NFT platforms. Lately, an unidentified individual known as Loyalist made off with a huge sum of money’s worth of NFTs from Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) after carrying out phishing attacks via Twitter—a popular platform amongst the cryptocurrency community. This has sparked outrage and concern amongst the crypto-community. In light of this incident, safety precautions have been increased in order to protect users from further scams.