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DPRK-Linked Hackers Suspected in $40M Cryptocurrency Heist

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ByMarcel Bich

Sep 16, 2023
DPRK-Linked Hackers Suspected in $40M Cryptocurrency Heist
Marcel Bich
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The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has sounded the alarm, cautioning against hackers allegedly associated with North Korea who are suspected of scheming to liquidate over $40 million in illicitly acquired cryptocurrency. This latest cyber endeavor has been attributed to a group recognized as “TraderTraitor,” which also operates under the alias “Jade Sleet.”

Intensive investigations by the FBI have brought to light that, over a span of two days from August 21 to August 22, this group transferred around 1,580 bitcoins. These funds, garnered from multiple cryptocurrency hacks, now reside in six distinct cryptocurrency wallets.

Historically, North Korea has exhibited a proclivity for entwining cyber warfare, clandestine operations, and fiscal malfeasance. TraderTraitor has been at the nexus of multiple assaults against blockchain and cryptocurrency exchanges, with the evident objective of purloining digital assets. This clandestine revenue stream is believed to financially prop up this globally-sanctioned nation.

The group’s rap sheet includes some massive heists in 2023 alone. Notably:

  • $60 million siphoned from Alphapo on June 22.
  • $37 million from CoinsPaid on June 22.
  • A staggering $100 million pilfered from Atomic Wallet on June 2.
  • Along with audacious exploits against the Ronin Sky Mavis and Harmony Bridge networks the previous year.

Tracing the intricate web of North Korean cyber outfits, TraderTraitor exhibits significant overlap with another notorious hacking group – APT38, also identified as BlueNoroff or Stardust Chollima. This latter group is a subset of the expansive Lazarus group.

As per insights from TRM Labs, since 2018, North Korean cyber operatives have purloined an eye-watering sum of over $2 billion in cryptocurrencies through an estimated 30 orchestrated attacks. The year 2023 alone witnessed illicit transfers nearing $200 million.

In light of these revelations, the FBI is extending a clarion call to private corporations. It emphasizes the importance of meticulously scrutinizing blockchain data pertinent to the mentioned wallet addresses. Moreover, businesses must remain on high alert for any transactions that bear even an indirect association with these suspect addresses.

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Marcel Bich

Marcel ‘s passion for the world of cryptocurrencies and his comprehensive knowledge of blockchain technology make him an invaluable asset to our team. He stays updated on the latest trends, regulations, and emerging technologies in the crypto space, ensuring that our audience receives accurate and up-to-date information.