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North Korean Lazarus Group amasses over $40M in Bitcoin, data reveals

New data reveals North Korea’s notorious hacking collective, Lazarus Group, possesses a staggering $47 million in digital assets. Significantly, Bitcoin makes up the bulk at $42.5 million, with Ether at $1.9 million, Binance Coin at $1.1 million, and $640,000 mainly in stablecoins like BUSD. This data has been sourced from Dune Analytics, courtesy of 21.co, the umbrella company for 21Shares.

However, this figure showcases a sharp decline from the earlier $86 million held by the Lazarus Group as of September 6. This drop came shortly after the hack at Stake.com, where Lazarus emerged as the prime suspect.

Moreover, the Dune dashboard, which tracks these transactions, has identified 295 wallets. These wallets, as highlighted by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), are linked to this hacking group. Surprisingly, despite the advantages of being harder to trace, Lazarus Group doesn’t hold any privacy coins like Monero, Dash, or Zcash.

Meanwhile, the crypto wallets linked to Lazarus remain notably active. The latest transaction was recorded as recently as September 20. Additionally, 21.co has intimated that the Lazarus Group’s actual holdings could be significantly more extensive than disclosed. They emphasized that the reported figures are conservative estimations based on public data.

On a related note, over a week ago, Cointelegraph highlighted Lazarus’s involvement in an attack on the crypto exchange, CoinEx, which saw a hefty loss of $55 million. Besides CoinEx, the FBI attributes the Alphapo, CoinsPaid, and Atomic Wallet breaches to Lazarus, amounting to over $200 million stolen in 2023 alone.

However, in an exciting twist, Chainalysis observed an 80% decrease in crypto thefts by North Korea-affiliated hackers since 2022. By mid-September, thefts totaled $340.4 million, a significant drop from the 2022 record of $1.65 billion.

Lastly, the Lazarus Group remains a potent threat. Consequently, U.S. federal agencies recently alerted of a “significant risk” of potential Lazarus-led attacks, especially targeting the U.S. healthcare and public health sectors.

 

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