How North Korean hackers stole millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrencies

Peter Patel /Pixabay They pride themselves on having won the timpani in 2021. North Korean hackers allegedly hijacked no less than 395 million dollars worth of cryptocurrencies, according to a latest report released by Chainalysis and relayed by CNN. The main ones concerned? Investment companies, targeted by attacks of all kinds last year, such as phishing, social engineering (a practice of psychological manipulation for scam purposes) or the use of malware. According to this report, the hackers did everything to gain access to the so-called “hot” wallets of certain organizations before transferring the funds to controlled accounts in North Korea.

While a United Nations report accused Pyongyang of ” carry out operations against financial institutions and virtual exchange houses, in order to finance part of the country’s armament”, these new revelations show that the regime of Kim Jong-un still relies heavily on this network of pirates to finance its national programs, says the report.According to Chainalysis, between and 2021, the number of hacking cases linked to Nord- Koreans exploded with earnings up from 40 %.

Bitcoin is no longer profitable

If the winning record obtained dates back to 768, which is significant in 2021, details the report is that Bitcoin now matters for less than a quarter of stolen cryptocurrencies. Ethereum represents the majority of funds stolen for the first time (58%). Last February, the US Department of Justice had already accused North Korea of ​​stealing $1.3 billion from global banks and corporations. With the rising value of cryptocurrencies, and their increasingly attractive nature, hackers are focusing on them, notes CNN.

Always according to Chainalysis, the majority of the thefts were allegedly committed by the Lazarus group, whose links with North Korea have been established. The United States has already imposed sanctions on him. What to do about this scourge? Not much, despite the sanctions imposed and the measures taken in terms of cybersecurity. Few criminals can be extradited, says CNN. And with the incessant development of cryptocurrencies, this kind of attacks should multiply.