Why are hackers interested in blockchain bridges?

For several months, blockchain bridges have become the favorite targets of hackers. The proof is that several bridges have been attacked in recent days. But why ? Why are blockchain bridges so attractive to hackers? In this article, we invite you to discover the reasons why.

Nearly 69% wasted funds

In recent months, these are billions of digital assets that have been lost to pirates. Here are some examples that illustrate it. In the month of March 2022, the Ronin Bridge blockchain bridge fell victim to a malicious hacker attack. Consequence: a loss of over $625 million. This event has also been considered one of the biggest thefts of cryptocurrencies. But this is not the only attack that took place. On the contrary…

In June of the same year, pirates made a strong attack on the Harmony One bridge. They managed to steal over $100 million in a single attack. More recently, in August, it was the Nomad Bridge which was lost $200 million following an attack targeting smart contracts.

In the end, the Chainalysis specialists believe that over $2 billion was stolen on blockchain bridges just in the year 2022 (which isn’t even over yet).

The interest of blockchain bridges

To find out why blockchain bridges are so appealing to hackers, you first have to know what they are. Bridges are essential elements in the blockchain universe, because currently functioning blockchains are unable to communicate with each other. The bridges allow to establish communication between them and solve the problem of interoperability.

More concretely, at present, no user can use bitcoin (BTC) on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain, nor can they use ether on the Bitcoin blockchain. In this case it becomes difficult to transfer funds between users of different blockchains. And that’s where bridges come in! As their name suggests, they create areas of communication.

Certainly, the mode of operation of each bridge differs from that of the others. However, the principle is generally the same. A user A who wishes to transfer funds to a user B locks the amount of cryptocurrencies to be sent on a blockchain. In exchange, the protocol will create the same amount of digital assets on another blockchain (an amount equivalent to the blocked funds).

The mode of operation of the bridges allows users to carry out transfers without complexity. But that is precisely what appeals to hackers. By attacking bridges, especially those that have some vulnerability due to a bug, they can steal a lot of money.

In the field of blockchain, bridges are among the most important tools because of the many advantages they have. Unfortunately, they are the target of hackers who, by carrying out malicious attacks, are sure to take advantage of their vulnerability to make money.

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