North Korean Hacker Group ‘Lazarus’ Stole $571 million in Crypto Attacks

Amongst growing crypto-jacking episodes circulating the internet, a North Korean hacking group called ‘Lazarus’ has stolen cryptocurrencies worth more than half a billion dollars.

According to The Next Web that cited findings from the annual report of cybersecurity vendor Group-IB late on Friday, Lazarus was behind 14 hacking attacks on cryptocurrency exchanges since January 2017, stealing over $571 million. The Korean hacking group which has been linked to a string of attacks against everything from government agencies to banks across the world.

Hackers are targeting cryptocurrency exchanges with spear phishing, social engineering and malware. Group-IB expects the number of attacks on cryptocurrency exchanges to rise and not just the attacks from Lazarus.

Over nearly 10 per cent of the total funds raised by Initial Coin Offering (ICO) platforms over the past year and a half have been stolen by hackers. According to the report, considerable phishing groups are capable of stealing about $1 million a month.

Fraudsters are now building fake websites using stolen cryptocurrency project descriptions and plagiarised white papers. “Fraudulent phishing schemes involving crypto-brands will only get more complex as well as cybercriminals level of preparing for phishing attacks,” the group warned.

Security researchers have claimed that North Korea-based advanced persistent threat (APT) groups are increasingly attacking financial institutions and Bitcoin exchanges. There were on average five new threat samples every second that resulted in a massive 629 per cent growth in crypto-jacking and other cryptocurrency mining malware in the first quarter of 2018.

The bitcoin miner malware grew a stunning 629 per cent to 2.9 million in the first quarter of the year 2018, from around 400,000 total known samples in Quarter 4 2017, this was from a report from a global cybersecurity firm McAfee. The Lazarus group launched a highly sophisticated Bitcoin-stealing phishing campaign called “HaoBao”, which targeted global financial organisations and Bitcoin users.


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