Stock photo of hacker. Credit: Marc Bruxelle/Adobe Stock Credit: Marc Bruxelle/Adobe Stock

Cryptocurrencies may have crashed this year, but they remain a digital cash-machine for one potent constituency: hackers. At least $718 million has been stolen so far in October alone, taking the gross tally for the year past $3 billion and putting 2022 on course to set a record for the total value hacked, according to blockchain specialist Chainalysis Inc.

Most of the targets are so-called decentralized finance, or DeFi, protocols, which deploy software-based algorithms to enable crypto investors to trade, borrow, and lend on digital ledgers without using a central intermediary.

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