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2022 continues to be the year that the phrase “Korean hacker” is constantly being called by cyber investigation units with allegations that the damage caused up to more than 1 billion USD.
According to a draft UN report, the amount of cryptocurrency stolen by North Korean hackers in 2022 is a record high. The report is part of a proposal submitted to impose sanctions on North Korea.
But the specific amount of damage varies in many datasets. According to the South Korean side, hackers controlled by the Pyongyang regime have obtained $630 million in crypto over the past year. According to data from analytics company Chainalysis, the amount of damage even reached 1.7 billion USD. This number is more than 4 times higher than the $ 400 million collected by North Korean hackers in 2021.
This year, the FBI accused North Korean hacker organizations of carrying out the Harmony Horizen bridge attack last June, stealing $100 million. The Lazarus hacker group with ties to North Korea was also confirmed by the US to be behind the hack of Axie Infinity’s Ronin bridge, which caused $624 million in damage in March 2022.
According to South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo, 10% of North Korean hackers’ victims are accounts of South Korean individuals and companies. The stolen money is believed to be used to fund missile and nuclear development programs.
In addition to South Korea, Japan is also a “favorite” target that North Korean attackers target. As reported in October 2022, the notorious hacker group Lazarus Group targeted Japanese crypto companies.
The UN report also notes that the techniques used by criminal groups are becoming more sophisticated, making tracking and investigation more difficult.
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