Hackers from North Korea carried out at least seven cyberattacks on cryptocurrency platforms in 2021, during which they stole digital assets worth about $ 400 million. This is evidenced by the data of the company Chainalysis.
The attacks were primarily targeted at investment firms and centralized exchanges. Attackers used phishing, software vulnerabilities, malware and other technologies for hacking.
From 2020 to 2021, the number of attacks related to the DPRK increased, and hackers’ income from hacking increased by 40%, analysts estimate.
The share of bitcoin in the stolen assets was only 20%, the majority (58%) fell on Ethereum, another 22% — on altcoins and ERC-20 tokens.
Experts have recorded an increase in the popularity of mixing services — in 2021, North Korean hackers laundered more than 65% of stolen funds through them.
Chainalysis has also identified about $170 million in cryptocurrencies stolen by North Korean hackers as a result of 49 attacks carried out between 2017 and 2021. They are under the control of North Korea, but have not yet been laundered.
Analysts have suggested that attackers do not withdraw funds in the expectation that law enforcement officers’ interest in old hacks will decrease over time.
Earlier, Chainalysis experts said that in 2021, attackers targeting the cryptocurrency industry stole a record $14 billion.