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Sunday, June 23, 2024

North Korean Hackers Suspected in $100M Crypto Heist for Nuclear Program

'...increasingly sophisticated cyber techniques both to gain access to digital networks involved in cyber finance and to steal information of potential value, including to its weapons programs... '

(Dmytro “Henry” AleksandrovHeadline USA) Hackers from North Korea caused a recent $100 million cryptocurrency heist and plan to use that money to fund their country’s nuclear and ballistic weapons programs.

According to the Daily Wire, the crypto analysis firm Elliptical said that the heist happened this month and affected 5,500 crypto wallets with the Estonia-based cryptocurrency exchange Atomic Wallet, which confirmed on June 3 that it had “received reports” of compromised wallets.

“Elliptic has attributed this incident to North Korea’s Lazarus Group, which is believed to have stolen over $2 billion in crypto assets across multiple thefts,” Elliptic stated. “This would mark the first major crypto theft publicly attributed to Lazarus Group since the $100 million exploit of Horizon Bridge in June 2022.”

Lazarus Group is a menace that primarily targets South Korean entities for espionage purposes. The group also targeted cryptocurrency exchanges in the past, stealing a total of $2 billion in crypto assets.

The Daily Wire reported that the Estonian National Criminal Police stated that authorities have been investigating the theft for the past week. However, the police added that they “cannot comment on the origins of the attacks” at the moment.

The U.S. Department of Justice called Lazarus a North Korean government-sponsored hacking team. The group has stolen more than $2 billion across multiple crypto heists, according to the Elliptic analysis. FBI reported that the group’s last major theft which happened a year ago involved Horizon Bridge, where it allegedly stole $100 million of virtual funds.

In February, the United Nations released a report that showed North Korea had a record-breaking year for stealing crypto assets in 2022, with hackers stealing upwards of $630 million. The Daily Wire reported that international monitors think these funds are often used to fund the nuclear and ballistic weapons efforts of North Korea.

“(North Korea) used increasingly sophisticated cyber techniques both to gain access to digital networks involved in cyber finance and to steal information of potential value, including to its weapons programs,” sanctions monitors told the United Nations Security Council.

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