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North Korean hackers are turning to Russian exchanges to launder stolen crypto: Chainalysis

The total amount of stolen cryptocurrencies is estimated at $3.54 billion, according to a September 14 report from on-chain analytics provider Chainalysis.

It added that North Korea “remains an incubator for hacking activities and remains one of the largest active threats in the cybercrime landscape.”

Additionally, hacking groups linked to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) are “increasingly using Russia-based exchanges known to launder illicit crypto assets.”

2023 NK steals crypto from 2022

These revelations have come in the same week when Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un held military talks. Concerns have been raised over the DPRK’s growing cybercrime strategy and sophisticated attacks used to fund its missile program.

Data revealed that $21.9 million in cryptocurrencies from the Harmony Protocol hack were recently transferred to a Russian exchange known for laundering.

“This latest action marks a significant increase in the partnership between the cyber underworlds of these two countries.”

It said the prospect of recovering funds stolen from uncooperative Russian exchanges was “particularly grave”.

Additionally, the value of stolen crypto linked to North Korean hacking groups like Ledger is currently valued at over $340 million this year.

However, this is significantly less than last year’s total of $1.65 billion stolen. 2022 was a great year for DPRK hackers, with extremely large attacks like the $600 million Axie Infinity theft.

Additionally, North Korea-linked groups still account for about 30% of all cryptocurrency stolen in hacks this year. Chainalysis said this year’s lower figures do not necessarily indicate better security or less criminal activity.

“We are just one big hack away from crossing the $1B threshold in 2023.”

DeFi hacks going on

September is only half over, yet it’s becoming a big deal for DeFi exploits and hacks. However these are not necessarily to be attributed to North Korean hacking groups.

According to the De.Fi Rekt database, there have been seven significant hacks, exploits or scams in crypto so far this month.

The largest is the $52 million CoinX exchange exploit on September 12. Other protocols that lost funds this month include Stake Wallet, FloorDAO, and CoinDroplet.

This week, cryptopotato The report states that Lazarus Group had involvement in the transactions linking the breaches at Atomic Wallet, AlphaPo, Coinspeed, Stake.com, and CoinX.

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source: cryptopotato.com

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