$2bn worth of crypto stolen — Report

About $2bn worth of cryptocurrency has been stolen across 13 separate cross-chain bridge hacks according to a report by Chainalysis.

The blockchain analytics firm stated that the majority of the $2bn had been stolen this year with attacks on bridges accounting for 69 per cent of total funds stolen in 2022 so far. It added that the theft represents a major threat to trust in blockchain technology.

It said, “As more value flows through cross-chain bridges, they become more attractive victims for hackers. Even more troubling is that bridges are now a top target for North Korean-linked hackers, who — according to our estimates — have stolen approximately $1bn worth of cryptocurrency so far this year, entirely from bridges and other DeFi protocols.

“For perspective, South Korea’s government-run statistical agency estimates the country earned $89m from official exports in 2020. The good news is that these services can take steps to protect themselves. And in the event of a hack, they can leverage the transparency of blockchain technology to investigate the flow of funds and ideally prevent attackers from cashing out their ill-gotten gains.”

The firm explained that cross-chain bridges were designed to solve the challenge of interoperability between different blockchains.

According to it, a cross-chain bridge is a protocol that lets a user port digital asset from one blockchain to another. It said these bridges are an attractive target because they often feature a central storage point of funds that back the ‘bridged’ assets on the receiving blockchain.

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