North Korea is the new realm of crypto hackers
North Korea is the new realm of crypto hackers
Security

North Korea is the new realm of crypto hackers

By George Michael Belardinelli - 17 Aug 2022

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In a report related to crypto hacking maneuvers, Chainalysis has shed new light on the criminal phenomenon by noting that most hacking attacks on this asset come from the same geographic area as North Korea.

Korea: numerous hacker attacks coming from the country

Lazarus is the main organized group dedicated to this practice, a criminal group that has already hit portfolios and platforms worth millions of dollars and boasts the characteristic of regenerating its “resources” (hackers) by always replacing its ranks with new criminal professionals, often, aided by the central government.

The report of the analysis company shows how the main target of organized crime 2.0 has become DeFi, which seems to be more vulnerable to attacks because of the open source system on which it is based.

In its report, Chainalysis explains how this year the token thefts carried out by North Korean hackers were able to embezzle a value of 1.9 billion US dollars up 58% compared to the same period last year.

“This trend doesn’t appear set to reverse any time soon, with a $190 million hack of cross-chain bridge Nomad and $5 million hack of several Solana wallets already occurring in the first week of August. Axie Infinity’s Ronin bridge lost about $600 million to hackers in March and Harmony’s Horizon bridge was drained of $100 million in June”.

Cross-chain bridges used to transfer tokens across blockchains have emerged as one of the weaknesses most used by criminals as they are easier to breach and less protected.

“It is possible that the incentives for protocols to reach the market and grow rapidly lead to gaps in security best practices”.

The company’s report, however, shows some encouragement as research has shown that illicit transactions or any attempts at them by ordinary investors have dropped by 15% since 2021, and the trend is also improving in the forecast for 2022.

Profits from hacker attacks

As is well known, crime does pay, and the scams perpetrated by the North Korean organized group generated profits in the regime’s pockets of $1.6 billion in this year alone, 65% less than in 2021 but still a considerable value.

Revenues from the Dark Web also dropped although slightly less than traditional revenues standing at minus 43% mainly due to the Hydra Market crackdown in April.

Lazarus, however, is not giving up and assisted by the North American government has implemented a more devious policy, which is that of infiltration.

Chainalysis puts the spotlight on how regime hackers this year are focusing on modifying their resumes in order to be hired as full-fledged employees of companies in the crypto world that they would like to plunder so as to make everything easier.

George Michael Belardinelli

A former corporate manager at Carifac Spa and later at Veneto Banca Scpa, blogger and Rhumière, over the years he has become passionate about philosophy and the opportunities that innovation and the media make available to us, in particular the metaverse and augmented reality

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