On Thursday, the FBI said North Korean hackers stole over $600 million in Crypto in a single hack.
The FBI blamed hackers linked with the North Korean government for stealing over $600 million in Crypto in March from a video gaming firm.
For the FBI, this is the latest in a series of audacious hacks and cyber heists associated with Pyongyang.
According to the FBI, “through our investigation we were able to confirm Lazarus Group and APT38, cyber actors associated with the DPRK, are responsible for the theft of $620 million in Ethereum reported on March 29th.”
The FBI refers to the latest hack of the computer network utilized by Axie Infinity, a popular video game that permits players to earn cryptocurrencies.
In March, Sky Mavis, the firm that designed Axie Infinity, announced that unidentified and unscrupulous hackers had stolen about $600 million.
According to a UN panel and cybersecurity experts, hacks and cyberattacks have become a vital source of revenue for the Kim Jong Un regime for years. This comes as the North Korean leader has continuously pursued to accumulate more nuclear weapons.
In the same vein, Ari Redbord, the head of legal affairs at TRM Labs, a company that investigates financial crimes, revealed, “A hack of a cryptocurrency business, unlike a retailer, for example, is essentially bank robbery at the speed of the internet and funds North Korea’s destabilizing activity and weapons proliferation.”
And as long as they are successful and profitable, they will not stop.” Ari Redbord added.
The US sanctioned Lazarus Group.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, the US Treasury Department has sanctioned Lazarus Group, a group of hackers believed to liaise with the North Korean government.
The US Treasury sanctioned the certain wallet or crypto address used to cash out on the Axie Infinity hack.
Chainalysis, a company that tracks digital finance, reported that Lazarus Group had stolen about $1.75 billion in cryptocurrencies in recent years.
More attention to North Korea’s hacking operations
Several cybersecurity analysts’ attention has always been on Russian hacks following the Ukraine war. Now, attention is increasing on the suspected North Korean hackers as they are on the rise.
Last month, Google researchers revealed that two different North Korean hacking firms target the US media, IT organizations, cryptocurrencies, and other fintech sectors.
This has prompted Google to create a policy to notify users targeted by state-sponsored hackers.
Shane Huntley, leader of Google’s Threat Analysis Group, disclosed that if any Google user owns “any link to being involved in Bitcoin or cryptocurrency” and they receive a warning on the state-backed hacking from Google, it’s very likely to be a North Korean attempt.
Huntley expressed to CNN, “it seems to be an ongoing strategy for them to supplement and make money through this activity.”