North Korean hackers managed to steal a fortune in cryptocurrency in 2021, in keeping with the outcomes of a latest research.
Cybercriminals based mostly in North Korea “extracted nearly $400 million worth of digital assets last year,” blockchain agency Chainalysis said in a preview of its 2022 Crypto Crime report launched Thursday.
“These attacks targeted primarily investment firms and centralized exchanges, and made use of phishing lures, code exploits, malware, and advanced social engineering to siphon funds out of these organizations’ internet-connected “hot” wallets into DPRK-controlled addresses,” the agency stated in a preview of its 2022 Crypto Crime report.
“Once North Korea gained custody of the funds, they began a careful laundering process to cover up and cash out,” the agency added.
North Korean hackers had been linked to at the very least seven cyberattacks on crypto platforms final yr and seized 40 % extra in worth in comparison with 2020, in keeping with the evaluation. Ethereum accounted for 58 % of the stolen tokens, whereas bitcoin accounted for 20 %.
Lazarus Group, a hacker collective linked to North Korea’s important intelligence company, is suspected of finishing up lots of the assaults. The group is greatest identified for finishing up the notorious Sony Pictures hack in 2014.
In a 2019 report, the United Nations Security Council famous that North Korea has more and more turned to cryptocurrency hacking as a method of evading sanctions which have crippled its economic system. North Korea is accused of utilizing the funds to help its nuclear and ballistic missile packages.
Chainalysis stated it has recognized $170 million in hacked cryptocurrency that North Korea has but to launder. The funds purportedly derive from 49 separate hacks from 2017 to 2021.