North Korean APTs Stole ~$400M in Crypto in 2021

Vast amounts of cash sloshing around in cryptocurrency markets are proving irresistible for cybercriminals and scammers of all kinds. From basic financial pump-and-dump schemes to straight-up nation-state cybertheft, nascent crypto markets, and their investors – often with dubious understanding of how they really work – have become prime targets for crypto scammers. North Korean-backed cybercrime groups, including APT 38/Lazarus Group, have turned their talents and resources exclusively toward ripping off crypto markets, according to a new report from Chainalysis. In 2021, the number of North Korean-sponsored crypto attacks grew from four to seven and netted the crooks $400 million, which was a 40 percent increase over 2020, Chainalysis found. But before these groups can cash out, they are laundered through software “mixers,” the report added. “DPRK is a systematic money launderer, and their use of multiple mixers – software tools that pool and scramble cryptocurrencies from thousands of addresses – is a calculated attempt to obscure the origins of their ill-gotten cryptocurrencies while offramping into fiat,” the researchers explained. Stolen crypto funds are also run through a DeFi platform, so it can be traded for Ethereum or Bitcoin, which are more easily converted to cash, the team at Chainalysis added. In total, the North Korean regime controls $170 million in crypto balances, garnered from 49 individual hacks conducted between 2017 and 2021. Simpler Scams for Crypto…