Cybercriminals Snatched Nearly $100M in Crypto in December  | Coinspeaker

Cybercriminals Snatched Nearly $100M in Crypto in December 

UTC by Chimamanda U. Martha · 3 min read
Cybercriminals Snatched Nearly $100M in Crypto in December 
Photo: Depositphotos

The Orbit Chain developers said they have involved law enforcement agencies to help track the hackers and possibly freeze the stolen funds.

The crypto industry lost millions of dollars to bad actors in December alone, making the month the fifth-highest month for hacks in 2023. According to the blockchain security company PeckShield, the latest attack on Orbit Chain’s cross-chain bridge brought the figure to approximately $100 million.

Orbit Chain Bridge Exploited for $82 Million

On December 31, the cross-chain bridge of Orbit Chain suffered a massive crypto exploit, leading to the loss of millions of dollars belonging to users.

Hackers exploited a vulnerability found in the protocol, allowing them unauthorized access to the ecosystem. The thieves were able to steal digital assets including Tether (USDT), USD Coin (USDC), Ethereum (ETH), Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC), and Dai (DAI). amounting to a total of $82 million.

PeckShield said the stolen funds brought the total losses in December to almost $100 million. The hack marked the highest exploit for the month of December as well as the 9th top hack targeting a cross-chain bridge in the last 3 years.

The team behind the creation of the decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol which serves as a bridge between other chains confirmed the $82 million hack in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

The team said on January 1, 2024, that they are still investigating to uncover the actual cause of the exploit. Furthermore, the Orbit Chain developers said they have also involved law enforcement agencies to help track the hackers and possibly freeze the stolen funds.

In a separate post on January 2, the team confirmed that the stolen assets remained unmoved, noting that the protocol is constantly monitoring the assets.

Launched in 2018 in South Korea, Orbit Chain has never experienced any hack until now. The platform is popular among crypto traders for transferring assets between Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)-compatible networks and Klaytn protocol.

Billions of Dollars Lost to Hackers in 2023

In 2023, many decentralized finance platforms were exploited including Multichain, Euler Finance, Mixin Network, and Atomic Wallet, losing billions of dollars to the bad actors.

Mixin was hit with a $200 million exploit while Euler, Multichain, Poloniex, and Atomic Wallet were exploited for $197 million, $125 million, $120 million, $100 million respectively.

Blockchain intelligence firm TRM Labs disclosed that the crypto space lost approximately $1.7 billion to hackers, scammers, and thieves.

In November 2023, Coinspeaker reported that hackers drained around $500 million from the crypto ecosystem in 1172 days.

However, despite the huge losses, the year recorded fewer exploits compared to 2022 which saw a total of $3.8 billion lost to hackers, according to crypto analytics firm Chainalysis.

The year saw protocols such as Wormhole, Harmony Horizon, and Mango Markets, and suffered massive exploits that resulted in loss of customer’s funds.

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