According to a study by Chainalysis, crypto hackers have stolen over $1.4 Billion worth of cryptocurrency assets between January 2022 and today. They have seemingly preferred to target cryptocurrency bridges with some high profile bridge breaches coming this year. This includes the $190 million Nomad bridge breach and the $615 million Ronin attack which is widely regarded as one of the largest attacks in crypto history.


It is notable that the cryptocurrency industry has grown exponentially over the past couple of years. Moreover, 2021’s memorable bull run created a desirable ecosystem for companies and investors. On the down side, this also attracted many bad eggs which has resulted in many security breaches and stolen crypto funds.


Chainalysis – a blockchain analytics resource – revealed that hackers have stolen around $1.4 billion worth of cryptocurrency since the start of this year. The hackers prefer targeting cryptocurrency cross-chain bridges, a type of protocol which connects different networks and facilitates the quick exchange of tokens. Two of the most high-profile cases at the start of the year include Qubit Finance which was drained of $80 million and Solana’s bridge – Wormhole – which was exploited for almost $320 million.


In March 2022, hackers pulled off one of the largest cryptocurrency thefts ever when they drained over $588 million worth of Ethereum and $25.5 million worth of USDC from Ronin Bridge. Despite the heavy loss, Sky Mavis team (the company that hosts the bridge) refunded all the affected victims and Ronin Bridge was reopened at the end of June 2022.


Shortly after the Ronin Bridge hack, multiple institutions launched investigations to find out who was behind the attack. One of the institutions was the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and they revealed that the hackers behind the attack were the notorious North Korean state-backed criminal organization, the Lazarus Group.


Carefully worded reports presume that the criminal gang is closely related to the North Korean government and they use the stolen crypto assets to reinforce Kim Jong-un’s administration of the East Asian country. Some months ago, the United Nation (UN) accused North Korea’s leaders of funding military experiments with stolen cryptocurrencies. Despite the warnings and subsequent sanctions, North Korea has continued to develop its military force and test such nuclear weapons.


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