Hackers Wreak Havoc -The 6 Biggest Crypto Hacks in 2022

In 2022, ~$3.4 billion has been lost to various scams and exploits in the Web3 world and a total of 573 attacks recorded throughout the year, according to blockchain security company, CertiK.

One of the problems that troubled crypto projects in 2022 was an increased vulnerability to hacks.

So far in 2022, ~$3.4 billion has been lost to various scams and exploits in the Web3 world and a total of 573 attacks recorded in 2022, according to blockchain security company, CertiK.

A crypto hack involves hackers accessing crypto wallets/platforms and stealing cryptocurrencies. Common hacks in crypto include:

  • Wallet hacks
  • Bridge attacks, and
  • Exchange hacks

Below is a list of the top hacks in the crypto industry, ranked in order of value of crypto stolen.


1.) $624M Ronin Hack

In March 2022, a hacker stole user funds worth $624 million from the Ronin Network.

The Ronin Network is a side chain (a subset of a larger blockchain) used to support a blockchain-based game called Axie Infinity. The hacker managed to steal private keys to generate fake withdrawals, transferring hundreds of millions from the network.

The hack was not uncovered until a week later.


2.) $477M FTX Hack

An exploit on the now defunct crypto exchange, FTX, saw $477 million stolen in November 2022, making this one of the most recent crypto hacks to occur in 2022.

Moments after FTX filed for bankruptcy on November 11t 2022, Ryne Miller, General Counsel at FTX, tweeted that they were ‘investigating abnormalities.’

On November 12 2022, a tweet from Ryne Miller said the company had ‘initiated precautionary steps’ and moved all its digital assets to cold storage, meaning the crypto wallet is no longer connected to the internet.

There are numerous theories on how the hack happened but most reports suggest it was an inside job.


3.) $325M Wormhole Hack

In February 2022, a hacker targeted a cross-chain bridge known as Wormhole, a protocol that allows for the transfer of funds between multiple chains, including Ethereum (ETH).

The hacker took advantage of weaknesses in the protocol’s validation system to fraudulently generate a large quantity of wrapped Ethereum (wETH), a token with a value tied to the Ethereum coin.

They then used the Wormhole to convert the wETH into ETH, making off with cryptocurrency valued around $325 million.


4.) $190M Nomad Bridge Hack

The Nomad Bridge was attacked in August 2022 resulting in losses of approximately $190 million in Bitcoin.

Hackers exploited a bug in the protocol to withdraw more funds than they had deposited. Unlike other hacks on this list, hundreds of individuals took part in this incident.

This attack may not have been a coordinated one. Once news of the exploit got out, hundreds of people rushed to take advantage of it, each acting on their own initiative.


5.) $182M BeanStalk Farms Hack

In April 2022, a hacker took advantage of Beanstalk Farms’ governance token, $STALK, to steal funds from the Ethereum-based stablecoin protocol.

If someone wanted to transfer assets out of Beanstalk Farms, they would need approval from a majority of $STALK holders. The hacker took out a flash loan (an extremely short-term crypto loan) to buy a majority position in the governance token.

They then proposed a massive transfer of funds and used their $STALK tokens to approve the proposal. It’s estimated that the hacker profited by around $80 million, but the hack caused the stablecoin to crash, resulting in total losses of $182 million.


6.) $160M WinterMute Hack

In September 2022, a crypto market maker called Wintermute lost $162 million in a major hack.

It’s not clear yet how the attack was carried out, but security firms have suggested that essential private keys were either leaked or cracked using a brute-force attack.

In a brute force attack, a hacker uses a rapid trial and error approach to guess the correct password, PIN, or encryption keys.

Shortly after the hack, some crypto researchers claimed that the hack may have been an insider attack, but this has not been confirmed.




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