Data from Chainalysis earlier this year showed that the greatest cryptocurrency hacking year ever saw an estimated $3.8 billion stolen, mostly leveraging decentralised finance (DeFi) protocols and criminals with links to North Korea.
Despite a dramatic drop in crypto attacks during the first quarter of 2023, the crypto community is being warned to be vigilant, with one business saying it is likely a "temporary reprieve, rather than a long-term trend."
According to research from Chainalysis earlier this year, last year was the greatest year in the history of cryptocurrency hacking, with an estimated $3.8 billion stolen, mostly via decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols and criminals connected to North Korea.
Despite a sharp decline in crypto attacks during the first quarter of 2023, the crypto community is being urged to exercise caution. According to one company, this is probably only a "temporary reprieve, rather than a long-term trend." The biggest cryptocurrency hacking year ever, according to data from Chainalysis earlier this year, saw an estimated $3.8 billion stolen, largely using decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols and criminals with ties to North Korea.
However, the first quarter of 2023 seems to have seen a sharp decline in this figure. TRM Labs published a study on May 21 stating that the quantity of cryptocurrency that was stolen in Q1 2023 "was less than any other quarter in 2022."
It was also reported that the average hack size decreased by over 65% from the same time last year.
"Even though the number of incidents was similar (around 40), the average hack size also decreased in Q1 2023, falling to USD 10.5 million from nearly USD 30 million in the same quarter of 2022."
History implies that despite the decline, crypto users shouldn't get comfortable. Prior to "a record-setting number of hacks" in Q4 that "turned 2022 into a record year," the third quarter of 2022 saw a dramatic decline in cryptocurrency hacks, according to TRM Labs.
It stated, "Unfortunately, this slowdown is most likely a temporary reprieve rather than a long-term trend," adding that just a few significant assaults might swing the balance once again.
Although "there is no one obvious explanation for the lull," TRM Labs speculated that the U.S. Treasury's punishment of cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash and the arrest and subsequent charges brought against Mango Markets exploiter Avraham Eisenberg may have deterred would-be hackers.
Sources informed in January by blockchain security company Certik that it does not "anticipate a respite in exploits, flash loans, or exit scams."
It stated that there will probably be "further attempts from hackers targeting bridges in 2023." Six of the top 10 exploits in 2022, which resulted in the theft of around $1.4 billion, included such bridges.
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