According to data by blockchain analytical company Chainalysis, hackers from North Korea are responsible for stealing $395 million worth of cryptocurrencies in 2021.
More specifically, the attackers from North Korea conducted a series of seven crypto hacks throughout 2021, while stealing funds in various cryptocurrencies.
The largest chunk of the stolen crypto funds is ethereum, with 58% of the total stolen amount, or $272 million. Surprisingly, the total amount of stolen bitcoin is just one-fifth of the total $395 million, showing that North Korea has a peculiar taste for ETH.
If we take into account 2021, the data by Chainalysis reveals that North Korea is now responsible for stealing more than $1.5 billion via hack attacks. In fact, the country even has a designated military hack unit, specifically for targeting crypto exchanges and DeFi operators.
The most potent year to date for North Korean hackers is definitely 2018 when they managed to net a whopping $522 million.
One such major hack attack occurred in 2021, when the allegedly government-funded hacking group, Lazarus, attacked crypto exchange KuCoin.
During the cyber attack by this North Korean sponsored hacking group, the Singapore crypto exchange suffered $275 million worth of damage. Moreover, another similar cyber attack occurred in 2014, when the same group attacked Sony Pictures, causing a massive breach of security and leaking of documents.
Many people wonder how exactly does North Korea manage to launder all of the stolen funds. And the sad truth is, that there are many businesses and individuals that are prepared to risk it all for a substantial amount of money.
For now, we can only speculate as to what are the plans of North Korean hackers for the blockchain community in 2022. Considering that each year the attacks are more relentless than the previous, crypto exchanges and DeFi operators should definitely invest in obtaining the best cyber defence that money can buy.
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