North Korea Takes Top Spot for 2022 Crypto Thefts

Sahana Kiran
North korea
Source – Unsplash

The 2022 bear was immensely harsh as it is. Hacks and scams, however, made things even worse for the cryptocurrency market. While the majority of the globe was focused on hunting down CEOs of bankrupt firms that were on the run, North Korea was busy getting into wallets that weren’t theirs.

The entire globe figured that North Korea has been orchestrating a plethora of hacks over the last couple of years. Several high-profile hacks have been linked to the country. According to a recent United Nations report acquired by Reuters, North Korea stole the most cryptocurrencies in 2022 when compared to other countries.

The report further read,

“[North Korea] used increasingly sophisticated cyber techniques both to gain access to digital networks involved in cyber finance, and to steal information of potential value, including to its weapons programmes.”

It was discovered that North Korean-linked hackers targeted the networks of global aerospace and military corporations last year. The country managed to steal cryptocurrency assets worth between $630 million and more than $1 billion.

The sanctions monitors further submitted the report to a 15-member North Korea sanctions committee.

Decoding North Korea’s Crypto Hacks

Over the last year, hackers were seen primarily targeting bridges. Ronin Bridge and Harmony’s Horizon Bridge were among the networks that were hit the hardest. For these hackers, bridges appear to have become a simple target. Other similarities between these hacks were also present. This included focusing on firms based in Asia. The language barrier could have prompted this trend.

Additionally, it was revealed that these North Korean hackers perform 16-hour shifts beginning at six in the morning. According to reports, the hackers are transported to nations like Russia and China for specialized instruction in cyber warfare. Furthermore, it would be very difficult to charge these hackers even with the assistance of the FBI and other national security organizations. Getting hands-on stolen money is definitely out of the question.

A recent Chainalysis report even suggested that cryptocurrency hacks hit a record of $3.5 billion. With so much going into carrying out these hacks, North Korea rightfully accounts for $1.7 billion of the total number.