North Korea's Cryptocurrency Capers: $600 Million Heist in 2023
Jan 6, 2024
In 2023, hackers linked to North Korea were responsible for approximately a third of all cryptocurrency exploits and thefts, amounting to roughly $600 million, marking a 30% drop from the previous year's total of $850 million, with a significant portion of the thefts occurring in the final months of the year, as revealed by TRM Labs. This brought North Korea's alleged accumulation from cryptocurrency activities over the past six years to nearly $3 billion. Notably, these hackers increasingly relied on social engineering tactics to obtain private keys for projects. The overall cryptocurrency thefts in 2023 amounted to $1.7 billion, a substantial decrease from the $4 billion stolen the year before, attributed to reduced major hacks, improved cybersecurity measures, law enforcement successes, and price volatility. These cyberattacks raise concerns, as the stolen funds are reportedly channelled into North Korea's development of weapons of mass destruction, prompting discussions on national security during a trilateral meeting involving the United States, the Republic of Korea, and Japan.