FBI Pins $100 Million Virtual Robbery On North Korea

An announcement from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from this past Monday stated that a hacking group known to be associated with North Korea had managed to carry out a robbery to the tune of $100 million in various cryptocurrencies last year.

Horizon Bridge, from Harmony, carries out cryptocurrency movements between Harmony and other systems. Back near the end of June 2022, harmony’s bridge was hacked into and a sum of over $100 million virtual funds was stolen from accounts.

The FBI claimed that the hackers, a group known as the Lazarus Group, otherwise known as APT28, which is known to be in direct connection with North Korea, stole the digital money.

As part of a press release, the FBI stated that earlier this month, on the 13th of January, North Korean hackers utilized RAILGUN, a well-known privacy tool, in order to quickly launder a sum of Ethereum taken last year. The total amount laundered totaled out worth which sits well above $60 million.

A chunk of the money was then delivered to a series of providers and was swapped over into bitcoin, after which a sum of it was frozen via an effort with the providers.

The FBI stated that a number of its officers, working alongside a few other groups, are still seeking out and stopping the North Korean attempts to steal and money launder various forms of cryptocurrency. It stated that the criminal actions are utilized as a means to keep on life support the North Korean Weapons of Mass Destruction and ballistic missile projects.

The FBI stated that in the past it was highlighted inside of a Cybersecurity Advisory with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, as well as with the Treasury Department of the U.S. The aforementioned advisory spoke about “TradeTraitor,” an effort to use malware that was utilized by North Korea to assault Harmony.

This past June, a report from Reuters was posted stating that hackers out of North Korea were most likely responsible for recent major attacks, as stated by a group of three digital investigative groups. Elliptic, a group centered around crypto analysis, speculated in a recent report at the time of the attack that Lazarus was the group responsible for the issues.

“The thief is attempting to break the transaction trail back to the original theft,” stated the report. “This makes it easier to cash out the funds at an exchange.”

This past year, the Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Technology on the National Security Council, Anne Neuberger, stated that she was “concerned about North Korea’s cyber capabilities.”

“They use cyber to gain, we estimate, up to a third of [stolen crypto] [sic] funds to fund their missile program,” she concluded.


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