RECORD: Hackers Steal $3.8B in Crypto Assets in 2022

The most encroachments have come from North Korea

In 2022, hackers managed to steal a record $3.8 billion in crypto assets, with the most attacks coming from North Korea, according to a report by US blockchain analysis company Chainalysis, cited by Reuters.

Attacks have come in “waves” throughout the year, with peaks recorded in March and October. In October alone, $775.7 million was stolen in 32 separate attacks, the report said.

The crypto market took a serious nosedive in 2022 as investors lost appetite for risky assets after realizing heavy losses and many crypto companies went bankrupt. Regulators, for their part, have begun to take serious steps to protect consumers.

The experts from “Chain analysis” indicate the most active hackers connected to North Korea, including the well-known group “Lazarus“. They are believed to have stolen $1.7 billion worth of assets and thus “bettered their own records”. North Korea has consistently denied having anything to do with the hacking attacks.

Experts monitoring Pyongyang’s compliance with UN sanctions say the country is increasingly relying on hacking revenue to fund its missile and nuclear programs. “It is not an exaggeration to claim that crypto-asset hacking already occupies a large share of the national economy,” Chain analysis points out.

However, for the first time last year, American law enforcement agencies were able to seize $30 million stolen by hackers linked to North Korea.

The Chain analysis report states that so-called “decentralized finance,” or DeFi, is the main target of hackers, and more than 82 percent of the funds that disappeared in 2022 were stolen from them.

Defi applications operate primarily on the Ethereum blockchain as financial platforms that enable cryptocurrency lending outside of traditional banks.

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