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How North Korean Hackers Lazarus Group Stole $571 Million

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How North Korean Hackers Lazarus Group Stole $571 Million

hacking

There are a number of issues surrounding the crypto market today. From regulations to how it is used by criminals, the cryptocurrency market has to deal with these issues before it gets the approval of regulators.

But one of the things that give the crypto market a bad name is the fact that it is prone to hacking incidences. Hackers find a way to take advantage of crypto exchanges vulnerability draining their funds and even their client’s funds. And in fact, Japan was forced to make the necessary changes in their regulations just to ensure that crypto exchanges are more careful when it comes to handling funds. And consequently, Kraken even decided to move to another country because of this.

One of the most notorious hacking groups today has been dubbed as “Lazarus”. It is responsible for half a billion dollars-worth of stolen cryptos since 2017. This information was released from a report by Group-IB. It is one of the leading cybersecurity companies today. It is an award-winning company that has been around the business since 2003. It was known for protecting the 2014 Sochi Olympics when it comes to its brand and ticket sales.

According to Group-IB, the primary target of hackers is mainly crypto exchanges instead of banks. And so far, it has been lucrative for hackers. In the first half of the year alone, around $700 million was stolen just in the first half of the year alone. One of the worst incidents recorded this year was Coincheck. Coincheck lost around $500 million. Coincheck admitted that “we didn’t have enough people working on internal checks, management, and system risk”.

What is The Lazarus Group?

The Lazarus Group which has also been known as the Hidden Cobra is quite elusive. Until today, there is no information on how many members operate the hacking group. However, they have been known for robbing not only crypto exchanges but also banks. Some high profile bank attacks included the 2016 Bangladesh bank robbery. And also, they are known for the infamous Sony Pictures hacking incident.

These days, Lazarus Group has focused on cryptos. They are known for utilizing the malware that is known as AppleJesus. It has effectively compromised Mac users. One of the reasons why this has become rampant is due to the fact that the United States attempted to isolate North Korea in terms of the global financial system. And since cryptocurrencies are not controlled by any central bank, it has become an alternative means of funding activities.

South Korean Crypto Exchanges Being Attacked

Since February 2017 to September 2018, there have been 7 incidences wherein crypto exchanges from South Korea were attacked by hackers. There are some instances when Lazarus Group was the culprit, while there are also times when the group behind the attack is unknown. Aside from South Korea, Japan exchanges are also attacked. From February 2017 to September 2018, the amount of funds lost from cryptocurrency exchanges already reached $882 million.

Japan is among the countries that is now looking closely at how to protect investors from hacking incidences. One of the solutions is to place the funds in cold storage.

Lee Jenkins

Lee is our resident cryptocurrency expert who knows the ins and outs of each coin and the blockchain technology behind them. You’ll find that most of our technical guides are written or overseen by Lee and they are all easily digestible by the new and experienced alike, so there is no better place to learn blockchain 101 than here. Occasionally you may see a news article from him if it’s tech related!

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