Stolen value in exploits down 70% since last year, more funds returned (report)

A good number of high-profile attacks on the crypto ecosystem have taken place over the past year, targeting everything and everyone from Phantom wallets to smart contracts themselves.

A common choice of target was cross-chain bridges, which allowed pirates to get away with serious bounties, especially in the case of Harmony.

Strong decrease in attacks

However, times seem to be changing, according to a new report from cybersecurity researchers at TRMLabs.

According to paperthe total value stolen via exploits and hacks is down 70% year-over-year since Q1 2022. $600 million offensive took place, the data holds even when the rest of 2022 is taken into account. In total, nearly $3.7 billion in funds were stolen by bad actors last year.

In fact, less value was stolen in the first quarter of 2023 than in any quarter of 2022. In the previous quarter of 2023, the total value stolen only reached around $400 million. dollars on nearly 40 separate attacks – about two-thirds came from the Ronin Bridge hack alone.

In addition, the victims of the attacks often manage to recover part of the stolen premium, which is already, on average, a third of what it was a year ago.

“The average size of hacks also took a hit in the first quarter of 2023 – to $10.5m from nearly $30m in the same quarter of 2022, even though the number of incidents was similar (around 40) To date, hack victims have recovered more than half of all funds stolen in Q1 2023.”

Increased monitoring prevents losses

While it’s impossible to say the exact reason for the decrease in the scope of attacks – which could be anything from better cybersecurity measures, sheer boredom or a bad conscience – TRMLabs researchers believe that the Heightened attention from law enforcement officials could be the reason. main contributor here.

Even in cases where the exploit that took place did not violate piracy laws, regulators still took action for other reasons. For example, Avraham Eisenberg’s “profitable trading strategy” led him to worry with the SEC, which accused him of securities manipulation.

Illegal exploits have also decreased. Since Tornado Cash, the most notorious instrument for laundering dirty crypto, was sanctioned by the US, all addresses linked to the mixer have been blacklisted, making it harder for cybercriminals to cash out. the proceeds of their attacks.

However, the researchers warn that this lull in attacks may be temporary and urge crypto developers to remain vigilant.


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