The year 2018 had some really encouraging moments for blockchain industry & cryptocurrencies but also some questionable occurrences like entire exchanges being hacked to steal investors wealth. A lot of research & innovation is being directed towards creating a more secure environment in the industry to win back consumer & investor confidence. One major study by Group-IB, a cybercrime company revealed some staggering revelations. The most important finding of the report published on October 16 was that hacker group LAZARUS which is reportedly funded by North Korea has stolen $571 million in various cryptocurrencies since 2017.
The figure accounts for almost 65% of the total value of cryptocurrencies stolen in 2017 & 2018. The biggest hack was identified as NEM hack of Coincheck in Japan during January 2018 where an approximate value of $532 million was stolen. Traditional methods like social engineering, spear phishing & malware were utilized for executing these hacks.
The study also predicts a possible rise in the occurrence of these cyber attacks as blockchain & cryptocurrencies being new in the technology sphere is vulnerable to attacks. The newly launched ICO’s & mining pools are soft targets for hackers with a potential of almost $1 million being stolen on an average from them every month.
Major cryptocurrency experts have expressed that North Korea is using cryptocurrency as a means to bypass US sanctions & launder money through multiple wallets & exchanges which serve as mixing services. The nation of North Korea might be hiring people for the specific purpose of hacking global crypto exchanges & getting US dollars circumventing sanctions.