North Korea Hackers pilfered $272 million worth of ETH last year by conducting successful security breaches
According to Chainalysis, hackers from North Korea stole $395 million worth of cryptocurrency last year by carrying out seven successful security breaches.
ETH has become the new darling of North Korean hackers
According to Chainalysis data, the total amount of cryptocurrencies stolen by the Hermit Kingdom has exceeded $1.5 billion. Notably, Ethereum accounted for 58% of the total amount ($272 million). Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency, accounts for only a fifth of the $400 million. The market share of Ethereum-based tokens is 11%.
As one of the most heavily sanctioned countries globally, North Korea is an important player in the global economic arena.
Close ties with China, which buys 90% of North Korea’s goods, help keep its economy struggling, but the communist state is also involved in various criminal activities. After drug trafficking and counterfeiting, cybercrime has emerged as a new source of revenue for the rogue communist state, with cryptocurrency exchanges a lucrative target for North Korea’s military hacking units.
The Kim Jong Un dictatorship relies on hackers to develop sophisticated ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons. In 2018, North Korean hackers stole $522 million, which is still the largest annual sum to date.
The notorious Lazarus hacking group, which pulled off a large-scale breach of Sony Pictures in 2014, was responsible for robbing Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange KuCoin of $275 million in 2020. North Korea deploys sophisticated techniques to launder stolen money.
Last September, Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith pleaded guilty to helping North Korea evade US sanctions.
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