Hackers stole $44 billion from cryptocurrencies, DeFI platforms since June 2021 – Report

Latest report from Acronis, a global leader in cyber protection, has revealed that cybercriminals are now focusing more on cryptocurrencies and decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms. Through these attacks, Acronis said hackers have stolen more than $60 billion in DeFi currency since 2012, while $44 billion of that amount was stolen during the last 12 months, that is from June 2021 to June 2022.

In the mid-year cyber threats report, conducted by Acronis’ Cyber Protection Operation Centres, the cybersecurity company disclosed that the hackers perpetrate their crime by exploiting flaws in smart contracts or stealing recovery phrases and passwords with malware or phishing attempts. Through these, it said the hackers have wormed their way into crypto wallets and exchanges.

The report also details how ransomware continues to be the number one threat to large and medium-sized businesses, including government organizations, and underlines how over-complexity in IT and infrastructure leads to increased attacks.

What the report is saying

  • The mid-2022 cyber security report further reveals that: “Nearly half of all reported breaches during the first half of 2022 involved stolen credentials, which enable phishing and ransomware campaigns.
  • “To extract credentials and other sensitive information, cybercriminals use phishing and malicious emails as their preferred infection vectors. Nearly one per cent of all emails contain malicious links or files, and more than one-quarter (26.5%) of all emails were delivered to the user’s inbox (not blocked by Microsoft365) and then were removed by Acronis email security.”
  • The research reveals how cybercriminals also use malware and target unpatched software vulnerabilities to extract data and hold organizations hostage.
  • “Further complicating the cybersecurity threat landscape is the proliferation of attacks on non-traditional entry avenues. Attackers have made cryptocurrencies and decentralized finance systems a priority of late. Successful breaches using these various routes have resulted in the loss of billions of dollars and terabytes of exposed data.
  • “Cyberattacks have contributed to a loss of more than $60 billion in DeFi currency since 2012, $44 billion of that vanished during the last 12 months,” it said.
  • “These attacks are able to be launched due to overcomplexity in IT, a common problem throughout businesses as many tech leaders assume more vendors and programs lead to improved security when the inverse is actually true. Increased complexity exposes more surface area and gaps to potential attackers, keeping organizations vulnerable to potentially devastating damage,” the report added.
  • Commenting on the report, Acronis VP of Cyber Protection Research, Candid Wüest, said: “Today’s cyber threats are constantly evolving and evading traditional security measures. Organizations of all sizes need a holistic approach to cybersecurity that integrates everything from anti-malware to email security and vulnerability-assessment capabilities. Cybercriminals are becoming too sophisticated and the results of attacks too dire to leave it to single-layered approaches and point solutions.”

Acronis said the current cybersecurity threat landscape requires a multi-layered solution that combines anti-malware, EDR, DLP, email security, vulnerability assessment, patch management, RMM, and backup capabilities all in one place. The integration of these various components, it said, gives companies a better chance of avoiding cyberattacks, mitigating the damage of successful attacks, and retaining data that might have been altered or stolen in the process.