While cryptocurrencies have often shown significant increases in value in the past year, hackers unfortunately also come to watch. It is not unknown that North Korea uses hackers to steal cryptocurrencies in this way. They then use these cryptos to circumvent sanctions against the country, among other things. They also had a good year.
Nearly $400 million stolen
Hackers from North Korea have managed to steal as much as $395 million (or $346 million) in multiple large-scale hacking attacks at crypto exchanges and investment companies in the past year. This is nearly $100 million more than was stolen by North Korean hackers a year earlier. However, this is partly due to the appreciation of the cryptocurrency market as a whole.
Hackers from North Korea have stolen a staggering $1.5 billion in cryptocurrencies alone over the past five years. The total amount of stolen cryptocurrencies now contributes significantly to the coffers of the totalitarian regime of Kim Jong-un and finances, among other things, (part of) his weapons programs. The figures also suggest that North Korea’s global serial attacks have accelerated in recent years.
To date, 2018 has turned out to be the record year for North Korean crypto hackers, as in that year they managed to steal a whopping $522 (about $457) million in cryptocurrencies.
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Bitcoin no longer majority of revenue
This year marks the first time that the top cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC) no longer provides the majority of the revenue for the country. In fact, Bitcoin was reportedly “only” 20% of this year’s total revenue. It turns out that Ethereum (ETH) has overtaken BTC this year. About 58% of North Korean hackers’ crypto profits turned out to come from the current largest altcoin. About 11% came from several other ERC-20 tokens.
The fact that the focus this year turned out to be on Ethereum is not entirely unexpected, however. Ethereum has seen significant appreciation in value this year. Also, the number of emerging companies has been able to promote further growth of the ETH blockchain. Ethereum 2.0 has also contributed to the growth of the network.
The cyber attacks are allegedly carried out by Lazarus. Lazarus is a group of casual hackers believed to be employed by the government of North Korea. However, the latter has never been officially confirmed. But according to other sources, Lazarus is said to be made up of many different groups rather than just 1.
Until the global cryptocurrency industry figures out how to successfully protect themselves from these types of hackers, or to prevent their crypto coins from being laundered and turned into clean accounts, the illicit and ethereal revenue stream of the Kim regime will only continue. grow.