Last year saw its fair share of high-profile attacks on the crypto ecosystem, targeting everything and everyone from Phantom wallets to smart contracts.

A common choice of target was cross-chain bridges, which allowed hackers to reap significant rewards, especially in the case of Harmony.

Sharp decrease in attacks

However, times seem to be changing, according to a new report from TRMLabs cybersecurity researchers.

According to the document, the total value stolen through exploits and hacks has decreased by 70% year-over-year since the first quarter of 2022. Although this may seem skewed, considering that the first quarter of 2022 was when the $600 million Ronin Bridge attack, the data holds even when factoring in the rest of 2022. In total, nearly $3.7 billion worth of funds were stolen last year by bad guys.

In fact, less value was stolen during the first quarter of 2023 than in any quarter of 2022. In the prior quarter of 2023, the total value stolen alone totaled about $400 million in nearly 40 separate attacks, roughly two-thirds of which were from the bridge. Ronin. hack alone.

In addition, the victims of attacks often manage to recover part of the stolen loot, which is already, on average, a third of what it was a year ago.

“The average size of attacks also took a hit in the first quarter of 2023 – to $10.5 million from almost $30 million in the same quarter of 2022, even when the number of incidents was similar (around 40). To date, hacking victims have recovered more than half of all stolen funds in the first quarter of 2023.”

Increased scrutiny prevents losses

Although it’s impossible to say the exact reason for the decline in the scope of attacks, which could be anything between better cybersecurity measures, sheer boredom, or a guilty conscience, TRMLabs researchers believe that the increased attention of law enforcement officials law enforcement may be the primary contributor here.

Even in cases where the exploit that took place did not violate hacking laws, regulators took action for other reasons. For example, Avraham Eisenberg’s “profitable trading strategy” has landed him in trouble with the SEC, which accused him of manipulating securities.

Illegal exploits have also decreased. Since Tornado Cash, the most notorious tool for laundering dirty cryptocurrency, was sanctioned by the US, all addresses associated with the mixer have been blacklisted, making it more difficult for cybercriminals to withdraw profits from their accounts. attacks.

However, the researchers warn that this lull in attacks may be temporary and urge crypto developers to remain vigilant.

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