North Korean hackers steal cryptocurrencies: Attackers take away about $400 million in 2021

Recently, there was news that a North Korean attack group, known as BlueNoroff, is targeting startups that deal with cryptocurrencies – attacks are launched through malicious extensions and various documents that arrive via e-mail.

This continued the practice from 2021, as hackers from this country attacked cryptocurrency exchange services, decentralized finance platforms(DeFi), and companies dealing with digital currencies throughout the last year.

They used phishing lures, security vulnerabilities, and malware in the attacks, and thanks to that, in seven separate attacks, they managed to steal about 400 million US dollars in various cryptocurrencies.

The funds moved from the victims’ digital wallets to those believed to belong to the attackers, and everything else was recorded thanks to blockchain technology.

After the robbery, “cryptocurrency laundering” would begin, so they were quickly converted into physical currencies in order to remove traces.

In 2021, there was an increase in hacker attacks from North Korea, but they did not exceed the results from 2018 when about half a billion dollars were stolen in ten attacks.

Over the past year, North Korean hackers have mostly targeted Ethereum(58% of attacks), followed by Bitcoin(20%), while the rest has fallen to other currencies.

More and more people are emptying their digital wallets and robbing exchange offices in the hope that they will get rich quickly.

Thus, the mentioned BlueNoroff group is motivated by profit, and experts describe the attacks with which it started in 2022 as “very sophisticated”.

It was on the basis of these fine details that it was concluded that this group is part of the larger and more famous Lazarus group.

BlueNoroff is not from yesterday – the group has been active for several years, but the nature of the attack has changed recently.

The latest actions target users from the United States, Russia, China, India, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, Poland, the Czech Republic, the United Arab Emirates, Estonia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malta, Germany, and Hong Kong.

Chris Jordan

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