North Korean-linked hackers are behind one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency thefts, according to the FBI. Hackers managed to loot about $620 million (more than 570 million euros) last month by hacking into a popular online game. According to the FBI, the money will benefit the North Korean regime.
The hack affected the Ronin blockchain network at the end of last month, which is linked to the popular online game Axie Infinity. This Vietnamese game allows players to earn cryptocurrency by trading avatars. Hackers have been able to cleverly take advantage of a part of the software that is not always reliable.
The FBI reported that hacker groups APT38 and Lazarus were behind the theft. Lazarus became famous in 2014 when he hacked Sony in response to the satirical movie the interviewthat mocked North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Both groups are part of a decades-old cyber campaign by the North Korean government.
By looking at the major platforms where cryptocurrencies are traded, the US Treasury is trying to find out where the stolen funds are being transferred. A source inside the ministry told Bloomberg News that sanctions are being considered for anyone trying to support the Kim regime through this type of money laundering.
A few weeks ago, hackers on another blockchain platform managed to steal about $300 million worth of cryptocurrency with a similar attack. The Treasury is said to be working on cryptographic cybersecurity guidelines to prevent such attacks in the future.
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