North Korean hackers have nearly doubled their heists since 2019 by amassing $400 million in crypto via cyberattack in 2021.
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North Korean hackers siphoned nearly $400 million worth of cryptocurrencies through cyberattacks in 2021, according to new data from Chainalysis.
The type of cryptocurrencies stolen has also undergone a radical change, according to the report dated 13 blockchain analytics firm jan. In 2017, BTC accounted for almost all of the cryptocurrencies stolen by the DPRK, but now it accounts for only a fifth:
“In 2021, only the 20% of the stolen funds were Bitcoin, while 22% were ERC-20 tokens or altcoins. And for the first time, Ether accounted for the majority of stolen funds, at 58%.”
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The report stated that attacks in 2021 from North Korea (DPRK) were primarily targeting “investment companies and centralized exchanges, and used phishing lures, code exploits, malware, and advanced social engineering” to maliciously acquire funds.
According to a UN Security Council report, it is believed that the DPRK uses stolen cryptocurrencies to evade economic sanctions and to help finance nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.
The threat posed by the DPRK to global cryptocurrency platforms is growing. Chainalysis now refers to hackers from the Hermit Kingdom, such as the Lazarus Group, as advanced persistent threats (APTs). These threats have been on the rise in the last three years, following the all-time high of over $500 million in cryptocurrency stolen in 2018.
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