North Korea Linked To Cryptocurrency Thefts, Investigators Say

( – A group of hackers associated with North Korea was behind a cryptocurrency theft from the US digital currency firm Harmony’s Horizon bridge last year, according to a press release from the FBI.

The California-based Harmony develops blockchains for decentralized finance and non-fungible tokens, offering loans and other services without traditional financial services like banks.

In June 2022, hackers stole $100 million in cryptocurrency when they hit Harmony’s Horizon bridge, which is the underlying software used by digital tokens for transferring cryptocurrency between blockchains.

At the time of the hack, several digital investigative firms suggested that North Korean hackers were the most likely culprits behind the attack on Harmony.

Last Monday, the FBI confirmed that the June theft was perpetrated by the North Korean-linked Lazarus Group, which is also known as APT38.

Additionally, the FBI said some using RAILGUN, a privacy protocol, the hackers laundered more than $60 million of Ethereum stolen in the June 24 theft on January 13. A portion of that was then sent to “several virtual asset service providers and converted to bitcoin,” the FBI said.

Working with some of the virtual asset service providers, the FBI was able to freeze some of the funds.

The Lazarus Group is believed to work on behalf of the North Korean government.

North Korea is notorious for stealing cryptocurrency funds.

In 2011, the Justice Department charged three North Korean members of the Lazarus Group with stealing and extorting more than $1.3 billion in cash and cryptocurrency.

Those three men are still at large.

Since 2017, North Korean hackers, including the Lazarus Group, have stolen an estimated $1.2 billion in cryptocurrency, according to the Associated Press.

Last August, the US Treasury Department linked the Lazarus Group to the April 2022 Ronin Bridge theft of over $600 million, the largest crypto hack in history.

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