North Korean Hackers Continue to Target Cryptocurrency

North Korean hackers have stolen an estimated $2 billion of cryptocurrency over the past five years, and they are showing no signs of slowing down.In a new report, blockchain intelligence firm TRM Labs found that North Korean hackers have stolen around $200 million of crypto in 2023 alone, accounting for 20% of all stolen funds this year.

The report also found that North Korean hackers have become more sophisticated in their methods, using a variety of techniques to steal cryptocurrency, including phishing, supply chain attacks, and cross-chain hacks.

One of the most notable examples of a North Korean cryptocurrency hack was the 2022 Ronin Network hack, in which hackers stole $625 million worth of Ethereum. The Ronin Network is a blockchain-based gaming platform that powers the popular Axie Infinity game.

In response to these attacks, cryptocurrency exchanges and other financial institutions have taken steps to block North Korean hackers. However, the hackers have continued to find new ways to launder their stolen funds.

TRM Labs found that North Korean hackers have used a variety of techniques to launder their stolen funds, including mixing services, over-the-counter (OTC) trades, and peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions.

The report also found that North Korean hackers have increasingly turned to decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms to launder their funds. DeFi platforms are not subject to the same regulations as traditional financial institutions, making them attractive to criminals.

The continued threat from North Korean hackers is a major challenge for the cryptocurrency industry. As the value of cryptocurrency continues to grow, so too does the incentive for hackers to target it.

Cryptocurrency users and exchanges need to be aware of the risks and take steps to protect themselves. This includes using strong passwords, enabling two-factor authentication, and only using reputable exchanges.

Governments and law enforcement agencies also need to take steps to crack down on North Korean hackers. This includes increasing cooperation between countries and sharing intelligence.

The threat from North Korean hackers is a serious one, but it is not insurmountable. By working together, we can protect the cryptocurrency ecosystem and prevent these criminals from profiting from their crimes.

Here are some additional tips for cryptocurrency users to protect themselves from North Korean hackers:

  • Only use reputable exchanges and wallets.
  • Do not click on links in emails or social media messages.
  • Be wary of unsolicited offers.
  • Keep your software up to date.
  • Monitor your accounts for suspicious activity.
  • Report any suspicious activity to the authorities.

By following these tips, you can help to protect yourself from North Korean hackers and keep your cryptocurrency safe.

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