North Korean hackers have reportedly stolen a staggering $721 million worth of cryptocurrency assets from Japan since 2017. Accounting for approximately 30% of global losses. The alarming figures were revealed in a recent report. Highlighting the growing threat posed by state-sponsored cybercriminal activities.
The Finance Ministers and central bank governors of seven countries expressed their support for countermeasures against illicit activities. Particularly the theft of crypto-assets perpetrated by state actors. This united stance reflects the urgency to address this escalating issue.
Surprisingly, the stolen amount by North Korean hackers is 8.8 times greater than the entire export value of North Korea in 2021. The hacker groups associated with North Korea have honed their skills in utilizing blockchain technology and cyber attacks to specifically target Japanese cryptocurrency assets. Their long-standing efforts have allowed them to amass a substantial amount of stolen funds. That they likely utilize for their nefarious activities.
Cybercrime rates have surged alongside technological advancements across the globe. With crypto-jacking emerging as a significant threat. In crypto-jacking, hackers exploit victims’ computing power to generate cryptocurrency through malicious scripts surreptitiously installed on their computers or devices.
The recent revelation of financial losses caused by North Korean hackers has raised international concerns. A United Nations security council panel of experts reported that North Korea had pilfered an estimated $600 million to $1 billion in cryptocurrency in 2022 alone.
The hackers primarily employ hacking and ransomware attacks as their modus operandi. Elliptic’s analysis suggests that most of the hacking incidents involving North Korean hackers were directly targeted at stealing funds from within their own country.
While their focus has been on the Japanese and Vietnamese cryptocurrency markets due to their remarkable growth. It is worth noting that North Korean hackers successfully breached three Japanese cryptocurrency exchanges between 2018 and 2021.
These cybercriminal organizations affiliated with North Korea have been involved in large-scale activities since 2014. Specifically targeting industries such as defense and healthcare. Their technological prowess is believed to surpass that of other attack groups operating in different countries.
The potential misuse of stolen cryptocurrency for military purposes raises significant security concerns. Japan has taken steps to bolster its security measures, implementing modifications to its payment services. Additionally, the country is exploring new avenues in its financial system. Including the adoption of decentralized finance (DeFi) through blockchain-based transactions.
To effectively combat this growing threat. Industry experts emphasize the need for information sharing among public and private sectors. As well as industry associations in each country. By enhancing defense capabilities and collaboration. The global community can fortify its resilience against cyber attacks. Safeguarding the financial sector and other industries from the perils posed by North Korean hackers.