SlowMist, a renowned blockchain security firm, has recently published its mid-2023 report on Blockchain Security and Anti-Money Laundering (AML). The report offers a comprehensive overview of the current global landscape of blockchain security and AML developments.
The first half of 2023 witnessed significant growth and increased security challenges in the blockchain sector. According to SlowMist’s Blockchain Hacked Incident Archive, there were 185 security breaches leading to a massive loss of $920 million. However, this figure represents a 54% decrease compared to the first half of 2022, which saw losses of around $2 billion.
The report categorizes the incidents into five sectors: DeFi/NFT/Bridge, Trading Platforms, Public Chain, Wallet, and Others. The DeFi, NFT, and Cross-chain Bridge sectors bore the brunt, with 131 incidents leading to losses of approximately $487 million. Despite fewer incidents in other categories, they still resulted in significant financial losses.
In a positive development, the first half of 2023 saw the successful recovery of stolen funds in 10 instances. Of the $232 million stolen, an impressive $219 million was reclaimed, including full refunds in three cases. This trend highlights the importance of robust security strategies and effective negotiations.
The report also underscores the intensifying global focus on Anti-Money Laundering. Regulatory bodies worldwide are reshaping the AML landscape, with notable actions taken by Tether, Circle, ChipMixer, the U.S. Treasury Department, Hong Kong, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, and France.
Mixing platforms such as Tornado Cash and eXch experienced significant user activity, being widely used for questionable transactions. Phishing scams, perpetrated by groups like Pink Drainer, Vemon Drainer, Monkey Drainer, Pussy Drainer, and Inferno Drainer, continue to pose a significant threat within the blockchain community.
The activities of hacking groups like the Lazarus Group highlight the escalating sophistication of threats within the blockchain ecosystem. These groups employ complex multi-chain paths and intricate transaction patterns to launder stolen assets and evade detection, necessitating advanced countermeasures and investigative methods.
SlowMist’s report aims to arm individuals and the broader blockchain industry with the knowledge needed to counter these evolving threats.