U.S. authorities believe that hackers from North Korea were responsible for stealing digital assets worth $100 million last year from a crypto company based in the United States.
The FBI claimed on Monday that the cyber robbery on crypto company Harmony last June was carried out by hacking gangs Lazarus Group and APT38, both based in North Korea.
The FBI has alleged that earlier this month, North Korean cyber criminals utilized the privacy protocol Railgun to launder more than $60 million worth of Ethereum stolen during the crime.
In June, California-based blockchain company Harmony revealed that hackers had stolen $100 million worth of digital coins via Horizon bridge, a so-called blockchain bridge used to transfer cryptocurrency between multiple blockchain networks.
With the help of several virtual asset service providers, the FBI, which had earlier issued an advisory on the “TraderTraitor” malware campaign used in the robbery, announced that it had frozen a portion of the stolen funds.
The FBI has pledged to continue to “detect and disrupt” efforts to steal and launder bitcoin that fund the unnamed state’s illegal missile and nuclear weapons programs.
Officials in the United States and the United Nations have accused North Korea, headed by third-generation dictator Kim Jong Un, of organizing an intensifying campaign of cyber theft to fund its activities, including the construction of long-range ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons.
In December, the South Korean intelligence service stated that hackers from North Korea had stolen $1.2 billion in virtual assets over the preceding five years, with $800 billion of that total occurring in 2022 alone.
According to a report published by blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis in January of last year, the value of assets stolen in cyberattacks tied to North Korea increased by 40% between 2020 and 2021.