Hackers from North Korea carried out at least seven cyberattacks on cryptocurrency platforms in 2021, during which they stole digital assets worth about $400 million, according to company data. Chainalysis.
The attacks were aimed primarily at investment firms and centralized exchanges. Attackers used phishing, software vulnerabilities, malware, and other technologies to hack.
From 2020 to 2021, the number of DPRK-related attacks has increased, and hackers’ income from hacks has grown by 40%, analysts have calculated.
The share of bitcoin in the stolen assets was only 20%, most (58%) fell on Ethereum, another 22% – on altcoins and ERC-20 tokens.
Experts have recorded an increase in the popularity of mixing services – in 2021, North Korean hackers laundered more than 65% of stolen funds through them.
Chainalysis also identified about $170 million in cryptocurrencies stolen by DPRK hackers as a result of 49 attacks carried out between 2017 and 2021. They are under the control of North Korea, but have not yet been washed.
Analysts have suggested that the attackers are not withdrawing funds in the expectation that law enforcement interest in the old hacks will decrease over time.
Earlier, Chainalysis experts said that in 2021, attackers targeting the cryptocurrency industry stole a record $14 billion.