Uptober Turns to Hacktober as Crypto Exploits Skyrocket
DeFi remains a hot target for exploiters who have stolen $718 million this month alone.
With data pointing to a potentially bullish month for Bitcoin, speculators are calling it “Uptober.” After September’s “Rektember,” investors typically look forward to October, which has historically been kinder to the crypto market for years.
Bitcoin, for one, has been green seven times over the last nine Octobers, with the only red ones coming in 2018 and 2019. Last year’s rally to its highest-ever value of over $66,000 also gained traction in October.
However, the narrative of “Uptober” didn’t have the desired effect on decentralized finance. In fact, with more than half the month still to go, October is now the biggest month in the biggest year ever for hacking activity, according to Chainalysis.
No Treat for DeFi
The blockchain intelligence firm revealed that $718 million has been stolen from DeFi protocols across 11 different hacks in October alone. The latest figure just exceeds the previous highest month for hacks – March – during which the Ronin bridge was hacked for more than $600 million. At this pace, Chainalysis asserted that 2022 will likely surpass 2021 as the biggest year for hacking on record.
In 2022, hackers have netted more than $3 billion across 125 hacks so far.
The series of exploits and hacks are contrasting to 2019, when hackers targeted centralized exchanges. Fast forward to three years later, a vast majority of targets are DeFi protocols. Cross-chain bridges, which contain significant amounts of cryptocurrency stored to support the movement of tokens between blockchains, continue to appeal the malicious entities.
October has seen three bridges breached, and nearly $600 million was pilfered, accounting for 82% of losses this month and 64% of losses all year.
Season of Exploits
The Solana-based Mango Markets DeFi lost as much as $100 million after an exploiter managed to manipulate an oracle price, thereby draining liquidity. As reported earlier, the hacker of the self-funded economic attack loaded up on $5.5 million worth of USDC to take out a perpetual futures contract for the MNGO token and trade against it.
This successfully manipulated the price of the token, enabling the entity behind the attack to take out Mango treasury loans and eventually drain the liquidity before it crashed.
TempleDAO was yet another victim in the series of DeFi attacks where the attacker funded the wallet with funds from the crypto exchange Binance. The protocol lost 1,831 ETH or nearly $2.3 million in the process. On the same day, Rabby Swap smart contract suffered a hack, resulting in a loss of $200,000 after the attacker managed to exploit a vulnerability in the smart contract.
Just a few days earlier, QANplatform’s smart contract bridge was exploited for over $ 1 million, which drove its native QANX token to lose 90% of its value.