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Hackers Stole $2 Billion in Cryptocurrency

Recent 2022 Hack Nets $925 Million

Since 2021, dark web hackers have been raking in huge amounts of profits from cryptocurrency thefts. The most recent 2022 ransomware theft linked to the notorious North Korean Cyber criminals, which netted a $600 million payday. In just over 1 year, mainly stolen Bitcoin assets have reached US$2 Billion. And with approximately 8 calendar months left in 2022, cryptocurrency investors should be on edge, as the amount of stolen crypto assets is set to increase exponentially.

Originally, the crypto industry came as a huge relief for investors and traders looking to grow their money quickly. As the industry grew, it also became a hub for new investors making their first forays into the market. However, the security and danger have always been left in the dark despite cryptocurrencies’ astronomical growth. Now, as a completely online investing medium, crypto poses a significant challenge in assuring investors that their money is safe, as dark web hackers have increased their attacks against cryptocurrency platforms.

$625 Million Ronin Bridge Crypto Theft

The ‘Ronin Bridge Hack’, a cyberheist that cost the creators of ‘Axie Infinity’ over $600 million, has finally been linked to the dark web perpetrator. According to the US Treasury Department, the N. Korean hacking group known as ‘Lazarus’ are responsible for the recent hack. Thus, the US Treasury has added a specific Ethereum wallet address to its sanctions, after Nansen identified the address as one of the perpetrators of the Ronin Bridge exploit.

Based on Chainanalysis’ report, this address collected 173,600 ETH and 25.5 million USDC via the Ronin Bridge smart contract during the hack carried out by the dark web hackers. This was later supplemented by the Ronin Network confirming the hack on their block, stating that the FBI attributed North Korea based Lazarus Hacking Group to the Ronin Validator Security Breach.

$300 Million Wormhole Crypto Theft

The hackers used a service known as a “bridge” to connect one blockchain to another to trade using Ronin. Just before the Ronin Bridge Hack, ‘Wormhole’, a bridge connecting Ethereum and the Solana blockchain, was hacked in February with hackers stealing over $300 million in cryptocurrencies. 

As these hacks become more and more popular, their nature makes it so that the hack is confirmed, but linking the right perpetrator to the crime can be difficult. When the Ronin’s Bridge platform was hacked for a total of $625 million, no one knew who was responsible for the hack right away. Following the hack, the creator of the most popular play-to-earn game, Axie Infinity, Sky Mavis, reimbursed gamers with around $450 million. 

With Ronin being the latest in a string of nearly $2 billion stolen assets in the last year alone, the crypto-community has had to reassure investors, who are increasingly and reasonably antsy about the security of their hard-earned money. 

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