It’s been a turbulent year for the cryptocurrency industry — market prices have taken a huge dip, crypto giants have collapsed and billions have been stolen in crypto exploits and hacks. It was not even halfway through October when Chainalysis declared 2022 to be the “biggest year ever for hacking activity.” As of Dec. 29, the 10 largest exploits of 2022 have seen $2.1 billion stolen from crypto protocols. Below are those exploits and hacks, ranked from smallest to largest. Stablecoin protocol Beanstalk Farms suffered a $76 million exploit on April 18 from an attacker using a flash loan to buy governance tokens. This was used to pass two proposals that inserted malicious smart contracts. The exploit was initially thought to have cost around $182 million as Beanstalk was drained of all its collateral but in the end, the attacker only managed to get away with less than half that. Qubit Finance, a decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol on BNB Smart Chain, had over $80 million worth of BNB stolen on Jan. 28 in a bridge exploit. The attacker duped the protocol’s smart contract into believing they had deposited collateral that allowed them to mint an asset representing bridged Ether. They repeated this multiple times and borrowed multiple cryptocurrencies against the unbacked bridged ETH, draining the protocol’s funds.
While these are the biggest cryptocurrency hacks that have happened in 2022, OODA has been compiling a comprehensive Web3 incident database based on our research to categorize what compromises are taking place as well as document the root causes that plague Cryptos, DeFi, NFTs, and Web3 in general. Tracking root causes provides comprehensive insights into how innovators can create robust cyber risk management approaches and reduce the potential for consequential attacks. You can access the OODA comprehensive Crypto Incident tracker here.