Regulatory scrutiny is rising around the crypto industry, but it’s not stopping cybercrime. Indeed, crypto hacks and scams remain on an upward trajectory, with perpetrators getting more and more bold in their crimes. The new Solana (SOL-USD) hack isn’t even the first hack of the week, but it is one of the most high-profile attacks in recent months.
Blockchain security company CertiK has been documenting the rise in crypto-related crime in 2022. At the end of the second quarter, it provided its mid-year update on what investors have lost thus far. The figures are astonishing; $2 billion in crypto assets have been stolen from users this year, already handily beating the total amount stolen throughout 2021. The rising prevalence of Web 3.0 projects and the booming popularity of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) provides a gold mine for criminals to exploit.
Just days ago, investors saw the most recent attack of note via the Nomad crypto bridge. Bad actors were able to exploit the bridge and siphon $200 million in crypto from the project. This is a huge theft, but it’s not even close to the biggest hack of the year. Hacks like the one launched on the Ronin (RON-USD) network saw over $600 million taken.
Obviously, as criminals become more emboldened, they are taking on bigger projects; of course, these larger projects have more value locked on-chain and plenty of users to try and scam. NFT project Bored Ape Yacht Club, the most instantly-recognizable project in the space, has been the target of multiple scams this year. Today, the spotlight turns to Solana as it falls victim to the newest exploit.
Solana Wallets Drained of Millions in New Crypto Hack
Just after the Nomad hack, criminals have set their sights on Solana. One of the largest layer-1 networks in the world — as well as one of the largest cryptocurrencies in SOL — the hack makes for one of the most high-profile acts of cybercrime yet.
Throughout late Tuesday evening and well into the night, Solana users had been tweeting about an exploit that was draining users’ wallets, one-by-one. These users noticed that many of the drained wallets are Phantom wallets or those connected to the Magic Eden decentralized application (dApp). As of right now, the attack appears to be ongoing.
Thus far, over 8,000 Solana wallets have been affected, with $5 million in assets stolen. Most of these assets include SOL and other Solana-native tokens; however, some users are reporting missing USD Coin (USDC-USD). Others still assert that they have noticed funds missing from the Ethereum (ETH-USD) chain as well. If true, the hack will turn out to be much bigger in scope than previously thought. Preliminary theories suggest that the hacker is conducting the attack by signing for transactions on behalf of the users themselves.
As the attack continues to spread across the network, the safest thing Solana users can do is move their assets from internet-connected “hot wallets” like Phantom to offline “cold wallet” storage.
While the SOL crypto has largely held its value throughout the fiasco, it appears to be on a downward trend as the day wears on. Currently, SOL-USD is down by about 3%.
On the date of publication, Brenden Rearick did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.