FBI Traces $40M in Stolen BTC to North Korea-Linked Lazarus Group


The Federal
Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has traced over $40 million worth of
Bitcoin (BTC) stolen this week to Lazarus Group, a hacking group linked to the North
Korean government. The group, which uses malicious applications to target
cryptocurrency companies and individuals, is also known as Trader-Traitor.

In a
statement
released yesterday (Tuesday), the FBI noted that approximately 1,580
BTCs were stolen and are currently being held in six BTC addresses. The US domestic
intelligence and security service added that the group may attempt to cash out
the stolen digital asset.

Furthermore, the agency pointed out that hackers from the group are behind several significant crypto thefts recorded in recent
months. These include the heist of $60 million in digital assets from Alphapo,
the $37 million stolen from CoinsPaid, and a $100 million theft from Atomic
Wallet, all of which were carried out in June this year.

“The FBI
previously provided information on their attacks against Harmony’s Horizon
bridge and Sky Mavis’ Ronin Bridge, and provided a Cybersecurity Advisory on
TraderTraitor,” the FBI added.

In the
statement, the intelligence agency also called on blockchain companies to
scrutinize the blockchain records of the BTC addresses. It further urged
private companies to exercise caution in order to avoid transactions that are
directly or indirectly linked to the addresses.

“The FBI
will continue to expose and combat the DPRK’s use of illicit
activities—including cybercrime and virtual currency theft—to generate revenue
for the regime,” the FBI added.

Over $2B Stolen in the Last Five Years: Report

Over the
last few years, North Korean hackers have constituted a terror in the crypto
industry, with the Lazarus Group emerging as one of the most notorious. Last
year, the group stole $540
million
by hacking
the Ronin Network, which is the blockchain that powers the Axie Infinity game.
A year before, the group manipulated cryptocurrency exchange, KuCoin, stealing about $281 million in the process.

According
to a recent report by TRM Labs, a blockchain intelligence company, North Korean
hackers over the last five years have stolen more than $2 billion in
cryptocurrencies via over 30 attacks. In 2020 alone, they stole over $800
million by launching three attacks on cross-chain bridges, showing an
increasing focus on the decentralized finance ecosystem.

Source: TRM Labs

“In 2023,
although the total amount stolen in cryptocurrency attacks is
down from a record-setting 2022
, North Korea has maintained its
focus on the crypto ecosystem,” TRM Labs stated in the report. “Year-to-date,
North Korea has stolen USD 200 million in cryptocurrency, accounting for over
20% of all stolen crypto this year.”

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The Federal
Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has traced over $40 million worth of
Bitcoin (BTC) stolen this week to Lazarus Group, a hacking group linked to the North
Korean government. The group, which uses malicious applications to target
cryptocurrency companies and individuals, is also known as Trader-Traitor.

In a
statement
released yesterday (Tuesday), the FBI noted that approximately 1,580
BTCs were stolen and are currently being held in six BTC addresses. The US domestic
intelligence and security service added that the group may attempt to cash out
the stolen digital asset.

Furthermore, the agency pointed out that hackers from the group are behind several significant crypto thefts recorded in recent
months. These include the heist of $60 million in digital assets from Alphapo,
the $37 million stolen from CoinsPaid, and a $100 million theft from Atomic
Wallet, all of which were carried out in June this year.

“The FBI
previously provided information on their attacks against Harmony’s Horizon
bridge and Sky Mavis’ Ronin Bridge, and provided a Cybersecurity Advisory on
TraderTraitor,” the FBI added.

In the
statement, the intelligence agency also called on blockchain companies to
scrutinize the blockchain records of the BTC addresses. It further urged
private companies to exercise caution in order to avoid transactions that are
directly or indirectly linked to the addresses.

“The FBI
will continue to expose and combat the DPRK’s use of illicit
activities—including cybercrime and virtual currency theft—to generate revenue
for the regime,” the FBI added.

Over $2B Stolen in the Last Five Years: Report

Over the
last few years, North Korean hackers have constituted a terror in the crypto
industry, with the Lazarus Group emerging as one of the most notorious. Last
year, the group stole $540
million
by hacking
the Ronin Network, which is the blockchain that powers the Axie Infinity game.
A year before, the group manipulated cryptocurrency exchange, KuCoin, stealing about $281 million in the process.

According
to a recent report by TRM Labs, a blockchain intelligence company, North Korean
hackers over the last five years have stolen more than $2 billion in
cryptocurrencies via over 30 attacks. In 2020 alone, they stole over $800
million by launching three attacks on cross-chain bridges, showing an
increasing focus on the decentralized finance ecosystem.

Source: TRM Labs

“In 2023,
although the total amount stolen in cryptocurrency attacks is
down from a record-setting 2022
, North Korea has maintained its
focus on the crypto ecosystem,” TRM Labs stated in the report. “Year-to-date,
North Korea has stolen USD 200 million in cryptocurrency, accounting for over
20% of all stolen crypto this year.”

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