Hackers sponsored by North Korea have successfully stolen about $3 billion in Bitcoin over the past five years by using sophisticated techniques and assuming the identities of recruiters, IT professionals, and government officials.
They have been able to obtain private information and take advantage of gullible victims thanks to these complex tactics. Notably, according to The Wall Street Journal, the stolen cryptocurrency finances 50% of North Korea‘s ballistic missile development.
North Korean Hackers
One instance of their strategy involves a 2021 hack on the Axie Infinity platform when hackers pretended to be recruiters and tricked a worker of the parent business, Sky Mavis. They acquired access to the employee’s computer by sharing a document with malware, which allowed them to steal $600 million in cryptocurrencies.
These advancing strategies show North Korea’s growing proficiency in carrying out cyberattacks, which are an essential source of financing for their nuclear and missile programs.
- North Korea-sponsored hackers steal $3 billion in Bitcoin in five years.
- 2021 Axie Infinity hack tricked Sky Mavis employee, stealing $600 million in cryptocurrencies.
- Employers use Westerners for job interviews, introduce product modifications.
The hackers don a variety of masks, occasionally posing as IT experts or government representatives. They establish a “shadow workforce,” posing as Japanese blockchain coders or Canadian IT professionals, with the potential to earn up to $300,000 annually.
In some instances, they even make an effort to land a job at the targeted businesses by using Westerners as interview subjects. After being hired, they gradually introduce modifications to products, creating gaps for hacking attempts.
Companies are in a constant “arms race” with these increasingly sophisticated hackers, making it difficult to identify and stop their actions.