North Korean hackers stole almost $400 million in 2021
North Korean hackers stole almost $400 million last year in attacks on crypto-trading platforms. 2021 was therefore one of the most successful years for cyber criminals, according to research firm Chainalysis in a report. The number of hacks almost doubled from four to at least seven and the revenue increased by 40 percent.
By making use of vulnerabilities in computer codes, malware, and phishing e-mails, the hackers managed to siphon money from the digital wallets of their victims, mostly investment companies. Subsequently, the report said that the cryptocurrencies seized were carefully laundered so that they could no longer be traced and converted into hard currency.
Chainalysis researchers also located $170 million worth of cryptocurrencies captured in 49 hacks conducted between 2017 and 2021. The fact that the North Koreans are still in possession of these coins suggests the country has a long-term strategy, the researchers said. “It suggests a careful and not a desperate and impulsive plan,” the report said.
According to the United Nations, North Korea is using cyber-attacks to evade international sanctions imposed on the country. With the proceeds, it would fund its nuclear and weapons program.