March 27, 2024
North Korean Hackers Reduced Crypto Thefts, 2023
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North Korean Hackers: Reduced Crypto Thefts, 2023

Hacking groups associated with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) experienced a reduction in stolen crypto despite intensifying efforts and broadening their targets in 2023, as outlined in the recent report by blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis.

In 2022, crypto losses from North Korea-linked exploits reached $1.7 billion through 15 hacking incidents. In 2023, Chainalysis estimated that hacking groups stole about $1 billion worth of crypto from 20 hacks.

This indicates that despite an increase in exploits, the hackers could not surpass the value of their illicit gains in the previous year.

Erin Plante, Chainalysis’s VP of Investigations, anticipates continued sophistication and diversification in North Korea-linked hacks. As gains from decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols decrease due to enhanced security, Plante explains that North Korean hackers shifted focus to centralized services and wallets.

In 2023, DPRK-linked hackers preferred phishing and social engineering. Plante described these attack vectors as ‘age-old’ hacking tactics that can be prevented through employee education and awareness.

“General security practices are an important foundation for a strong cybersecurity strategy, and organizations should ensure that every employee is vigilant and up to speed with the technical aspect of cyber defenses.”

Plante also noted a pattern in DPRK-linked attacks, revealing that hackers spend more time in networks, emphasizing the necessity for enhanced network monitoring and security.

To mitigate risks, Plante advises vulnerable DeFi protocols to implement systems monitoring on-chain activities and platforms exposed to off-chain risks to reduce reliance on centralized products and services.

Overall, Plante expects North Korean hackers to persist in seeking opportunities to pilfer substantial funds, citing their agility in adapting to evolving circumstances as a sign of their advanced capabilities.

Image By flatart

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