A new study shows that in the first half of 2022, cybercriminals stole NFTs (non-fungible tokens) worth $100 million.
According to Elliptic’s data, most NFTs were stolen in the month of July, with each crime costing victims $300,000. The business also noted that this figure likely understates the true problem because many occurrences are never recorded.
It’s more common for thieves to use social engineering to trick their victims into parting with their NFTs than it is for them to exploit a security hole in the system. In fact, 23% of all NFT thefts this year may trace their roots back to one of the major social media platforms.
Elliptic further suggests that many NFT acquisitions that fueled specialised market expansion came from questionable sources. Tornado Cash contributed $330 million to the NFT market, it stated.
These services mask the coins’ origins, making them perfect for laundering cryptos stolen via ransomware, data breaches, or cryptojackers.
Sanctioned groups and state-sponsored exploits threaten NFT-based services, Elliptic claimed.
Tornado Cash’s developer, Alexey Pertsev, was detained last month. The US government contended that North Korea’s Lazarus Group was using the site to launder cybercriminal cash.
Lazarus Group is tied to one of the greatest crypto heists in history, the theft of $600 million from Ronin bridge.
NFTs include graphics, music, and text. Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) tokens sell for millions of dollars.