The last year turned out to be good for the digital asset market, and the most popular cryptocurrencies showed good growth: the price of Bitcoin increased by about 60% and Ethereum by 80%. Not surprisingly, the cryptocurrency is attracting the attention of criminals from all over the world. North Korean hackers were not standing by, stealing about $400 million in cryptocurrency in 2021, according to the source.
Chainalysis, an analytics firm, has calculated that North Korean hackers conducted seven successful attacks on cryptocurrency exchanges and investment firms over the past year, resulting in the theft of $395 million worth of cryptocurrency. The amount of funds stolen increased by almost $100 million compared to 2020 (four attacks). 2018 was a record year – 10 attacks on $522 million In total, North Korean hackers have stolen about $1.5 billion in cryptocurrencies alone in the last five years.
The source notes that for the first time since Chainalysis began monitoring the actions of North Korean hackers, the bulk of their output was not Bitcoin. Last year their share was only 20% of the total amount of stolen funds. The share of Ethereum rose to 58%, another 11% fell to the share of ERC-20 tokens. According to Chainalysis, all successful attacks were carried out by the Lazarus hacking group, believed to work for the North Korean government.
According to information security firm Mandiant, other groups linked to the North Korean government have also started paying more attention to cryptocurrencies. For example, TEMP.Hermit and Kimsuky continue to target cryptocurrency holders and also attempt to steal data from biomedical and pharmaceutical organizations. The well-known ART38 group has also dedicated itself to the cryptocurrency. The source notes that almost all North Korean hacking groups are monitored by Mandiant “One way or another, cryptocurrency was involved”.