North Korean hackers stole $400M in 2021, mostly ETH. Chainalysis says that this event marks a larger trend of cyber-attacks on cryptocurrency exchanges. The company also predicts an increase in security features and regulations to prevent these attacks from happening again.
North Korean hackers stole $400M in 2021, mostly ETH: Chainalysis. The hack is the largest theft of cryptocurrency to date and was a result of North Korea’s hacking attempts in South Korea. This is one of the many hacks that have been reported by Chainalysis.
According to fresh information from Chainalysis, North Korean crypto hackers stole close to $400 million in cryptocurrency via cyberattacks in 2021.
According to the Jan. 13 study from the blockchain analytics company, the kind of cryptocurrency stolen has also seen a significant shift. BTC accounted for almost all of the cryptocurrency that the DPRK had stolen in 2017, but today it only makes up one fifth:
“In 2021, only 20% of the assets that were taken were Bitcoin; the remaining 22% were either ERC-20 tokens or other currencies. Ether, which made up 58 percent of the monies taken, made up the bulk of the funds stolen for the first time ever.
According to the research, North Korea’s (DPRK) assaults in 2021 mostly targeted “investment businesses and centralized exchanges, and made use of phishing lures, code vulnerabilities, malware, and sophisticated social engineering” to steal the money.
According to a UN Security Council study, the DPRK is thought to utilize stolen cryptocurrencies to escape financial restrictions and to aid in funding its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
International crypto platforms are always under danger from the DPRK. Hackers from the Hermit Kingdom, like the Lazarus Group, are now referred to be sophisticated persistent threats by Chainalysis (APT). Following the all-time high of more than $500 million in cryptocurrency stolen in 2018, these risks have grown over the previous three years.
According to Chainalysis, the money was carefully laundered. Chain hopping, the “Peel Chain” approach, and more recently, a complex system of currency exchanges and mixing, have all been used by hackers as methods.
Related: Hot wallet breach using the Ethereum blockchain costs LCX $6.8 million
Over 65 percent of the money taken in 2021 was obtained using mixers, a threefold rise over 2019. A software-based privacy solution called a mixer enables users to conceal the origin and final destination of the coins they transmit. Since they are permissionless and have enough of liquidity, decentralized exchanges (DEX) are becoming more and more popular with hackers.
Chainalysis referenced the Liquid.com incident of August 19, 2021, in which $91 million in cryptocurrency was stolen, as an example of the standard method used by DPRK hackers to launder money. In the beginning, they exchanged ERC-20 tokens for ETH on decentralized exchanges. Then the Bitcoin (BTC) and ETH were combined after being submitted to a mixer. Finally, as a possible fiat off-ramp, BTC was routed from the mixer to centralized Asian exchanges.
The “crypto news” is a story about how North Korean hackers stole $400M in 2021, mostly ETH. The article goes on to discuss the Chainalysis report that was released on this topic.
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