North Korea-linked hackers attacked a record number of crypto platforms and stole over $1 billion worth of crypto assets last year, according to a report released Wednesday.
According to the Chainalysis report, North Korea hacked 20 crypto platforms last year, a higher frequency that what the firm recorded over the previous seven years.
“North Korea-linked hacks have been on the rise over the past few years, with cyber-espionage groups such as Kimsuky and Lazarus Group utilizing various malicious tactics to acquire large amounts of crypto assets,” the report said.
Although the number of attacks rose to 20, the amount of stolen crypto, slightly above $1 billion in 2023, is still lower than the year before where over $1.7 billion was stolen by North-Korea associated hackers.
The 2023 amount is higher than an estimate from blockchain intelligence firm TRM Labs, which reported that $600 million worth of cryptocurrency was stolen by hackers tied to North Korea. The report did note that additional hacks occurred towards the end of the year and, if done by North Korea-linked hackers, could push the figure north of $700 million.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctioned virtual currency mixer Sinbad.io in November last year. Sinbad is a virtual currency mixer serving as the key money-laundering tool of Lazarus Group, which is tied to North Korea’s government, according to the November release.
Lazarus Group stole over $41 million in virtual currency from Stake.com, an online casino and betting platform. The theft, which the FBI confirmed, occurred in September, 2023.
The agency noted these actors were involved in multiple high-profile international virtual currency heists.
In June last year, approximately $60 million of virtual currency from Alphapo and CoinsPaid was stolen. Just a few weeks before, approximately $100 million of virtual currency was stolen from Atomic Wallet.
Apart from crypto platforms, North-Korea linked hackers stole approximately $428.8 million from DeFi platforms in 2023, per Chainalysis report.
Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.