According to recent data provided by blockchain sleuth Chainalysis, cryptocurrency hackers managed to rake in a whopping $3.8 billion in 2022.
Decentralized finance protocols accounted for the lion's share of the aforementioned sum (more than $3 billion).
Notably, cross-chain bridges, which make it possible for transactions to occur between various blockchains, were the main victims of hackers.
They are a major target because of the vast amounts of crypto locked in smart contracts. Any potential security vulnerability in their code can be fatal.Axie Infinity's $650 million Ronin bridge hack, which took place last March, made plenty of headlines in the media due to the sheer amount of losses.
As reported by U.Today, the security incident was later linked to North Korea's state-controlled hacking group called Lazarus Group. The criminal syndicate was also responsible for an attack on Horizon Breach that took place last summer.
After attacking film studio Sony Pictures and pulling off the WannaCry cyberattack that affected hundreds of computers around the world, North Korean hackers turned to crypto heists in order to finance the Kim Jong Un regime.
Per Chainalysis, North Korean hackers accounted for the majority of the hacking activity.
Some malicious actors from North Korea rely on fake resumes in order to infiltrate cryptocurrency companies by pretending to be non-North Korean nationals.
Lazarus has been using the Tornado Cash mixing service, which has been slapped with sanctions by U.S. authorities.