Think of all those hard-working GPUs dreaming of playing video games and bringing joy when being sent to a crypto mine. Some were even carried away in transit, stripped of their game-loving homes, and sold on darker markets. But between the destruction of the environment and the graphics card, people usually engage in cryptocurrency mining in an attempt to make money. Apparently for North Korean hackers to make a fortune, sort of like what Norton’s pre-installed cyrpto miners did for it, not its owner.
in a report chain analysis (Thanks, IFL Science) estimated that North Korean hackers stole at least $400 million worth of digital assets over the past year, and they are unlikely to return any of it like other hackers.
According to the report, 2021 has been very successful for those who want to scam people at the scene of cybercrime, especially in North Korea, where profits from stolen cryptocurrencies have increased by more than 40% over the previous year. Most of the cryptocurrency involved was ether, which accounted for nearly 60% of the total stolen. It is followed by Bitcoin at nearly 20%, and the rest appears to be mostly Ethereum-based.
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Interestingly, they didn’t use it to invest in any ugly monkey NFTs, since rats often smell the same. Instead, cryptocurrencies are later laundered into other currencies and wallets, and then eventually converted back into some form of Earth currency used by common stores.
Thankfully, the bulk of cybercriminals’ cash is directed at investment firms and centralized exchanges, meaning smaller targets are unlikely to be worth bothering with.
It is believed that the hackers behind most of these heists may be the Lazarus Group, which is known to have ties to the North Korean government. You may recall the huge controversy surrounding the James Franco and Seth Rogen comedy The Interview in 2010. This was largely due to the Lazarus Group hacking into Sony Pictures Entertainment in an attempt to canned the film. It almost feels like a joke to say now, but yes, these people are probably sitting on hundreds of millions of dollars.
The investigation also found that despite all this money laundering, North Korea still holds about $170 million in cryptocurrencies. All of this points to an organized addiction to crypto crime, Chainalysis claims.
“Together, these actions paint a portrait of a country that supports cryptocurrency crime on a massive scale. The North Korean government, systemic and complex, whether through the Lazarus Group or other criminal groups, has cemented itself as a 2021 threat to the cryptocurrency industry. of advanced persistent threats,” Chainalysis said in a blog post.