North Korean hackers have stolen almost $1 billion worth of crypto from DeFi protocols, according to a report by Interesting Engineering.
DeFi protocols are decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols made up of specialized autonomous computer programs created to address problems within the traditional financial sector. They would enable bitcoin commerce between protocols, facilitating the payment of products and services in cryptocurrency.
An illustration picture taken in London on May 8, 2022, shows a gold plated souvenir cryptocurrency Tether (USDT) coin arranged beside a screen displaying US dollar notes. – Tether (USDT) is an Ethereum token known as a stablecoin that is pegged to the value of the US dollar, and is currently the largest stablecoin with a market value of USD 83 billion dollars.
North Korea’s Crypto Heist
As was demonstrated in 2022, these protocols are susceptible to attacks, especially in cross-chain bridges. The data for 2022 has been released by TradingPlatform.com, revealing that while North Korea is responsible for about 1 billion worth of cryptocurrency in 2022 alone, some thefts have also been carried out by highly competent hacker outfits like the Lazarus Group.
There have been numerous attacks on DeFi platforms, according to analyst Edith Reads of TradingPlatform.com. The attacks are expertly planned and executed. To combat this, various participants in the crypto realm have put mechanisms in place.
“More than $30 million in stolen crypto has been recovered from North Korean hackers, which gives hope. It is a win for the crypto enthusiast. It will boost confidence among crypto investors and even attract those with reservations about crypto security,” Reads said in a statement.
Despite the overall decline in the value of digital assets, one of the more concerning aspects is that cryptocurrency crime appears to be expanding.
Legal transactions decreased by about 35%, while illegitimate transactions decreased by 15%, according to TradingPlatforms.com.
In March 2022, hackers stole almost $600 million from the Ronin bridge of Axie Infinity, and three months ago-the Horizon bridge of harmony lost more than $100 million.
It must be acknowledged that while there has been a considerable decline in criminal activity in the cryptocurrency area, hackers continue to pose a significant concern. The $1.6 billion in crypto that North Korea took through cybercrime was 66% less than the $4.3 billion stolen in 2021.
The 43% decline in revenue on darknet marketplaces this year was also a result of the Hydra marketplace crackdown in April, as noted by Interesting Engineering.
Crypto winter, a period when values and activity in the crypto markets diminish, typically during the winter months, may be to blame for the varied dips in criminal activity in cryptocurrency.
According to two South Korean government sources that talked to Reuters in June, North Korea’s alleged stolen funds are compromised by the sudden drop in cryptocurrency values, which began in May due to a larger economic downturn.
It happened at a time when North Korea is preparing to resume nuclear testing while conducting a huge number of missile launches that, according to Seoul’s Korea Institute for Defense Analyses, have cost more than $620 million this year.
North Korea is believed to spend roughly $640 million annually on its nuclear weapons, according to a report by the Geneva-based International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. The central bank of South Korea also predicted that the nation’s GDP would be about $27.4 billion in 2020.
Written by Joaquin Victor Tacla
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