According to a Jan. 5, report published Chinese blockchain security company LianAn Technology estimates that in 2022, global decentralized financing (DeFi), exploits were worth $3.64 billion. This represents a 47.4% increase over the $2.44 trillion loss recorded in 2021. Despite a dramatic 80% decrease in total DeFi value during the year, incidents increased in number.
Out of the 2022 amount, funds lost during cross-chain bridge hacks amounted to $1.89 billion across 12 incidents — the highest in the category. The majority of exploits were caused by attacks on Solana and BNB Chain.
Of the 167 incidents that were reported in 2022, 51.5% occurred in audited projects and 48.5% in non-audited ones. LianAn estimated that 38.7% of the $1.40 trillion worth of stolen funds were laundered through Tornado Cash, a cryptocurrency mixer. Only $289million worth of funds was recovered over the course of the year. The actual number of funds recovered is likely to be higher as many recoveries have not been made public per law enforcement requests.
In 2022, global total blockchain-related crimes (financial and not) reached $13.7 billion. The top three most common crimes were money laundering, which was followed by DeFi exploits (3.6 billion), multilevel marketing frauds (1.0 billion) as well as fraud (830 million). Apart from the collapse cryptocurrency exchange FTX there were 243 fraud cases and rug pulls over the period with $425 million in total.
“2022 was a difficult year for security in the global blockchain industry. This creates a need for increased security expectations in 2023. In 2023, we will need to address the urgent questions of how to deal with hacker attacks, how fast to create a global regulatory structure, and how technical breakthroughs can be applied to security threats.