Report: North Korean hackers stole $400 mln worth of crypto currencies in 2021


Active Trader
Dec 11, 2020
North Korean hackers have stolen roughly 400 million USD worth of crypto coins in no less than seven attacks on crypto exchanges and crypto investment funds in 2021, a report of block chain analysis firm Chainalysis reveals, marking the most profitable year for the secluded communist regime in the field of cyber crime.

Over the years Pyongyang has consistently denied the claims that it is involved in cyber attacks.

“From 2020 to 2021, the number of North Korean-linked hacks jumped from four to seven, and the value extracted from these hacks grew by 40%”, the report said, elaborating further that the North Korean hackers have resorted to various clandestine techniques like phishing, code vulnerability exploits and malware viruses to steal funds from hot wallets belonging to the affected companies – money which were latter transferred to domain addresses associated with the North Korean government.

The hot wallets, unlike the so called cold wallets, are connected to the internet, which makes them vulnerable to hacker attacks. They are necessary however for the transfer of funds on the crypto networks. Cyper security annalists recommend moving larger amounts of crypto coins, not needed immediately, to cold wallets.

“Once North Korea gained custody of the funds, they began a careful laundering process to cover up and cash out,” the report also said.

Most of the attacks in question are associated with the Lazarus Group – a hacker network, which is already in the focus of an investigation by the U.S. authorities and which is believed to be controlled by the North Korea state intelligence agency – the Reconnaissance General Bureau.

Lazarus Group has also been associated with the WannaCry ransomware attacks, that affected many international banks and client accounts, as well as the attacks against Sony Pictures in 2014.

In February 2021, the US authorities charged three North Korean hackers for the attempt to steal more than 1.3 billion USD worth of crypto currencies from U.S. banks and Hollywood movie studios.
Unfortunately, I do not see any prospect that these attacks will end anytime soon, considering the political situation.