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North Korean Hackers Continue to Target Cryptocurrency, Seizing Over $340 Million in 2023

CryptoNorth Korean Hackers Continue to Target Cryptocurrency, Seizing Over $340 Million in 2023

North Korean state-affiliated hacking groups have seized over $340 million in cryptocurrency this year from crypto exchanges and web3 applications, as per a recent report by blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis. This comes in addition to the previously reported $1.6 billion in hacks linked to North Korea in 2022. Cybercrime has emerged as a significant revenue source for North Korea, particularly due to its heavily sanctioned economy. It’s estimated that about 30% of cryptocurrency hacks this year are connected to the North Korean regime, a slight decrease from the 43% reported in 2022.

The FBI recently tied North Korea to the theft of $41 million in cryptocurrency from Stake.com, a prominent crypto casino, and North Korean hackers were also identified as the culprits behind a $54 million hack of the crypto exchange CoinEx, according to investigations by ZachXBT.

In one of the major heists of last year, Lazarus, a North Korean hacker collective, stole $625 million from the Ronin Network, a blockchain platform associated with the popular NFT game Axie Infinity.

The Chainalysis report reveals that Lazarus transferred funds stolen in a $100 million hack of the Harmony blockchain bridge earlier this year to cryptocurrency exchanges in Russia known for money laundering. Analysts note that North Korean hackers have increasingly utilized Russian trading platforms since 2021, attracted by Russia’s track record of non-compliance with international law enforcement.

By FCCT Editorial Team

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are independent views solely of the author(s) expressed in their private capacity.

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