CryptoMonday has been analyzing cyber attacks lately. Their data suggest that North Korean hackers are responsible for over $1 billion stolen in 2022. According to analysts, Lazarus is under the command of the Reconnaissance General Bureau. The outfit is known for carrying out diverse attacks. The hacking of foreign banks, the WannaCry ransomware attacks, and the hacking of sony pictures have the signature of Lazarus.
Us Sanctions and North Korea’s Hacks
The $1 billion is the culmination of various attacks, with the latest being $100 M on California blockchain, Harmony. The report also states that these cyber thefts account for 60% of all assets stolen in 2022. Speaking on the data, CryptoMonday CEO Jonathan Merry said,
« Lazarus Group is one of the most active cybercrime syndicates in the world today. The outfit handles many North Korean government-sponsored hacks on crypto exchanges. So far, Lazarus’ total hacks stand at $1 billion in bitcoin. Blender.io acts as an associate of the Lazarus group. It involves laundering monies stolen by the Lazarus Group and other North Korean associates. »
The regime has dedicated many resources to the theft of cryptos over the past few years. According to the US Treasury, the regime was responsible for one of the most significant crypto heists in history in March 2022. The heist led to a loss of nearly $615 million. North Korea has been making rapid strides in developing ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons. The strides are coinciding with Pyongyang’s increasingly brazen attacks in cyberspace.
With the US economic sanctions against the armament, North Korea has to find avenues of financial support. Therefore, the country has turned to ransomware and cyber attacks to sustain its operations.