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North Korea stole $721m worth of Japan’s cryptocurrency

The international community is on high alert due to series of crypto theft by North Korean hackers.

Tokyo, 16 May 2023 (GNP): A recent study conducted by UK block chain analysis provider Elliptic uncovered on Monday that North Korean hackers have successfully pillaged $721 million worth of crypto currency assets from Japan since 2017. 

North Korea, has emerged as a significant player in the realm of cybercrime, with its hacking groups being responsible for almost 30% of all the crypto currency losses globally, reported renowned Japanese news outlet.

The international community has taken notice of this alarming trend, which prompted the Group of Seven finance ministers and central bank governors to release a statement on Saturday endorsing measures against illegal actions by state actors, including crypto-asset theft.

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In-depth research carried out by Elliptic on behalf of the Japanese newspaper reveals that North Korea plundered $2.3 billion in cryptocurrencies from businesses between 2017 and 2022.

The Lazarus Group is the most well-known North Korean hacker group. It is responsible for a large number of cyberattacks throughout the world, including the Harmony blockchain breach, which saw $100 million in cryptocurrencies stolen.

Given that North Korea’s overall exports in 2020 were just $142 million, stolen crypto currency accounts for a substantial portion of the country’s GDP. 

According to experts, the North Korean regime fund its nuclear weapon projects using the profits accumulated by such means.