TOP 5 Biggest Crypto Hacks 2022

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This article presents the 5 biggest crypto hacks 2022 (until now). Sports betting sites are often hit with security breaches by hackers who hack into the system. Decentralized finance and any type of online businesses could become a hacking objects.

However, security systems keep them apart from being a victim. Unfortunately, the world of cryptocurrency is not an exception to these hackings.

In 2022 alone, we’ve witnessed a lot of crypto exploits. So far, over $1 billion worth of crypto has been lost to hackers this year, and most of these hacks were carried out on decentralized finance (Defi) protocols. 

Biggest Crypto Hacks 2022

Hacker works
Hacker doing its thing..

The Nomad Heist

Nomad is a blockchain interoperability service provider. It provides smart contract services with the promise of high security. It was a surprise when the nomad heist of $190 million happened on the 2nd of August, making it the third massive crypto hack of 2022 and the ninth largest heist of all time. 

The hacker targeted Nomad’s bridge. This is a tool that allows users to transfer tokens from one blockchain to another. 

Blockchain bridges have become the target of hackers, which has long troubled the crypto space, especially since most of these stolen tokens can hardly be recovered or traced. According to crypto blockchain analysts, over $1 billion has been stolen from bridges in 2022.

Horizon Bridge

Like most cross-chain bridges, the Harmony Horizon Bridge has a validation process for approving transactions transferred over the bridge. The authorization process operates a multi-signature scheme with five validators. 

However, the bridge only employed a 2 of 5 verification system. This signifies that only two blockchain accounts needed to be altered for a hacker to commence any odious transaction. 

Hackers hacked into Harmony’s horizon bridge which crypto users use to transfer their virtual assets from one blockchain to another and made away with $100 million. This happened on the 24th of June, 2022. 

According to Elliptic, a blockchain analysis company, the hacker stole various crypto assets, including Binance Coin, Ethereum, Tether, Dai, and USD Coin. Elliptic confirmed that the stolen assets were exchanged for Ethereum via decentralized exchanges. 

Immediately after Harmony discovered they’d been hacked,  they notified the appropriate authorities and placed a bounty of $1 million for the return of the stolen assets. The address where the tokens were transferred was traced in an attempt to retrieve the stolen assets. 

Harmony added that it had halted the Horizon bridge to avert further transactions pending when the situation is resolved. 

The Maiar Exchange Hack

The Maiar Exchange hack is yet another incident in an undoubtedly continuous string of hacks in the crypto world. The decentralized exchange (DEC) suffered a massive loss of $113 million worth of Elrond eGold (EGLD).

According to Foudres, a blockchain researcher, the hackers used a smart contract, using three wallets to loot a substantial stake of assets from the exchange wallet, all summing at $113M.

Foudres stated that the hackers were able to sell 800,000 EGLD, which is approximately worth $54M. The CEO, however, implied that a notable amount of stolen assets had already been recovered.

Ronin Bridge

The Ronin bridge hack was one of the biggest cross-bridge hacks ever in the world of cryptocurrency. The hacker made away with approximately $600 million in Ethereum and USDC. 

The exploit was based on a Trust-Based bridge, and a 51% attack was attempted by gaining access to five out of nine validators. Four of these validators were held by Sky Mavis and the fifth by its child brand AxieDAO.

During the investigation into the attack, it was discovered that a North Korean hacker group enticed a Sky Mavis employee with a fake job offer concealed in a pdf. 

As soon as the employee opened the document, the hackers gained access and eventually hacked into the four nodes, followed by the fifth node from the decentralized AxieDAO.

The Wormhole Hack

The Wormhole hack occurred in February due to an error on the platform’s Github repository, costing them $350 million worth of cryptocurrency. 

The Wormhole team reached out to the hacker after the invasion through the attacker’s Ethereum wallet address and offered the hacker a $10 million bounty to return the funds.  

Wormhole uses blockchain bridges that permit one type of crypto to be deposited in another cryptocurrency to create an asset. This allows a person with holdings in one cryptocurrency to make investments and exchanges using another. It’s like funding your bank account in dollars and then using a bank card to purchase or pay for an item in another currency.

To accomplish this heist, the hackers falsified a valid signature for a trade that let them freely mint 120,000 worth of Ethereum comparable on the Solana blockchain, with a value of $325 million at the time the theft was carried out. 

The funds were then sent from Wormhole to the hackers’ account, effectively liquidating a large amount of the platform’s Ethereum funds that were being held as collateral for transactions on the Solana blockchain.

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