It would appear that North Korean cybercriminals might be responsible for the theft of more than half of all the virtual currencies stolen from cryptocurrency exchanges.
This comes as a fresh article by The Next Web has recently proposed that the North Korean hacker group Lazarus has, since January of 2017, been behind a total of 14 hacking attacks aimed at various cryptocurrency exchanges.
Furthermore, these allegations stem from the annual report on cybercrime about to be released by the well-known cybersecurity organization ”Group-IB”.
According to the article published by The Next Web, the North Korean state-sponsored hacking outfit could be responsible for the theft of a whopping $571 million.
The piece recounts that cyber-criminals have, in total, stolen $882 million worth of cryptocurrencies from exchanges since 2017, which would mean that the Lazarus has been responsible for the theft of nearly 65% of these funds.
Moreover, the allegations line up with previous claims from South Korean officials, which have proposed that North Korean hackers were behind the theft of ”tens of millions of dollars’ worth” of cryptocurrencies during the last year.
Furthermore, Group-IB went on to state that cryptocurrency exchanges are mostly hacked through the use of spear phishing, malware, and social engineering.
In addition to this, the security consultancy group also believes that targeted attacks on cryptocurrency exchanges in general could increase dramatically in the future.
As cryptocurrencies become increasingly well-known, Group-IB predicts that hacker groups that have traditionally targeted banks could instead shift their attention towards cryptocurrency exchanges, as this becomes a more lucrative endeavor than targeting banks.
The Group-IB report also claims that 10% of all the funds raised by ICOs during the past 18 months have been stolen – and over half of it through the use of malicious phishing attacks.
A large portion of these losses was supposedly caused partly by ”crypto-fever” and fear of missing out, which saw investors rush to partake in recently launched cryptocurrency projects without taking the proper precautions to ensure that they visited legitimate websites.
Furthermore, the report says that large phishing groups are able to steal around one million dollars’ worth of cryptocurrencies per month. It also goes on to outline how cryptocurrency fraudsters are becoming increasingly innovative in the ways they attempt to swindle investors out of funds, e.g., through the use of blackmail.
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Rasmus Pihl is a writer for Toshi Times by day and an avid follower of the cryptocurrency industry by night. Rasmus holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the Gothenburg School of Business, Economics, and Law and runs a Swedish marketing consulting firm. Moreover, when he isn’t writing for Toshi Times, traveling, working or changing the world in some other capacity, Rasmus is more than likely caught up in postgraduate studies.