The FBI disclosed in a recent announcement that close to 1,580 BTCs have been unlawfully obtained, now located in six distinct Bitcoin addresses. The U.S. security agency warned that these hackers might try to liquidate these digital assets soon.
This isn’t the first incident attributed to the Lazarus Group. Recent activities associated with them include a $60 million digital asset heist from Alphapo, $37 million taken from CoinsPaid, and an alarming $100 million misappropriation from Atomic Wallet – all of which transpired this past June. “The FBI has previously shared insights regarding their assaults on the Horizon Bridge by Harmony and the Ronin Bridge by Sky Mavis, including a Cybersecurity Advisory about TraderTraitor,” commented the FBI.
The intelligence organization urged blockchain enterprises to examine the transaction records of the identified BTC addresses diligently. The FBI also advised private entities to act prudently to sidestep transactions linked directly or indirectly to these addresses.
In recent times, hackers from North Korea, particularly the Lazarus Group, have manifested as a persistent menace to the crypto world. Last year saw them pilfering $540 million after compromising the Ronin Network, the foundation of the popular Axie Infinity game. The preceding year, they exploited the cryptocurrency platform KuCoin, taking nearly $281 million.
A comprehensive analysis by TRM Labs, experts in blockchain intelligence, suggests that North Korean cyber-criminals have misappropriated cryptocurrencies worth upwards of $2 billion through over 30 distinct attacks in the past five years. Just in 2022, they amassed over $800 million after executing three concentrated attacks on cross-chain bridges, underlining their growing interest in the decentralized finance realm. “Despite 2023 witnessing a reduction in the overall value of cryptocurrency thefts compared to the record-breaking 2022, North Korea’s malicious activities in the crypto domain remain unabated,” observed TRM Labs in their recent publication. “In the current year, they’ve seized a staggering $200 million in digital currencies, which comprises over 20% of the total crypto thefts so far.”