FBI warns of a $40 mln sale of stolen crypto by North Korean hackers

  • The FBI said the North Korean hackers have transferred stolen Bitcoin worth $40 million to different Bitcoin addresses.
  • The agency believed the group may now try liquidating these assets.

On 22 August, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the premier law enforcement agency in the U.S., warned crypto companies about the recent blockchain activities related to crypto tokens worth $40 million stolen by North Korean hackers.

The FBI stated that it has tracked crypto assets stolen by North Korea’s TraderTraitor-affiliated hackers. These hacking groups include the Lazarus Group and APT38.

Believed to be supported by the national regime, the hacking group is frequently referred to as the Hidden Cobra by the U.S. intelligence.

According to the federal agency, the Lazarus Group has transferred approximately 1,580 Bitcoin [BTC] worth more than $40 million, ill-gotten through several crypto thefts, to different Bitcoin addresses. Notably, the agency has listed all of these addresses in its press statement. The agency believes that the group may now try selling these assets.

The FBI urged all the crypto platforms to look at the recent blockchain data related to the mentioned addresses. Platforms should be vigilant about transactions related directly or indirectly to the addresses.

The FBI attributed several prominent crypto heists to the hacking group. These heists led to the theft of $60 million from payment provider Alphapo, $37 million from CoinsPaid, and $100 million from Atomic Wallet. All of these crypto hackings took place in June.

North Korea engaging in crypto hacks to evade sanctions over nuclear weapons

Two weeks ago, Reuters mentioned a United Nations report that discussed about cyber-attacks by North Korea.

Independent sanctions monitors wrote in the report to a U.N. Security Council committee,

After a record-breaking level of cyber thefts in 2022, estimated at $1.7 billion, DPRK (North Korean) hackers reportedly continued to successfully target cyber cryptocurrency and other financial exchanges globally.

Hackers working for the Reconnaissance General Bureau (RGB), North Korea’s primary foreign intelligence agency, continued to use increasingly sophisticated cyber techniques to steal funds and information.

The report mentions,

Companies in the crypto-currency, defense, energy and health sectors were targeted in particular.

The country is evading sanctions through these illicit methods in order to develop its nuclear weapons, the report adds.

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