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North Korean hacking groups stole $721m in crypto from Japan

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North Korean bad actors and hacking groups have stolen a total of $721 million worth of bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies from Japan since the crypto summer of 2017.

North Korean hackers have stolen more than $2 billion in crypto from businesses globally between 2017 to 2022, research data by Elliptic shows.

Japan hit hard by Korean crypto hackers

According to a Reuters report, citing new research findings by Elliptic, a blockchain analytics, and cryptocurrency compliance company, North Korean hacking groups have stolen a total of $2.3 billion worth of crypto globally since 2017.

Out of that sum, North Korea’s Asian neighbor Japan is among the nations that have suffered the worst losses. 

Per the research, the unnamed North Korean hacking groups have stolen $721 million worth of digital assets from crypto-friendly Japan since 2017, representing 30% of the total amount lost to the bad actors globally since 2017.

A global threat 

As previously reported by crypto.news, 2022 was a profitable year for North Korean hackers, as they successfully stole between $630 million to $1 billion worth of cryptocurrencies last year via several high-profile attacks. 

North Korean hacking groups such as the notorious Lazarus, which is believed to be responsible for several crypto heists, including the $100 million Harmony Bridge hack, have been a serious threat to the web3 space over the years.

Last August, the U.S. Department of Treasury imposed sanctions on the popular ethereum mixer, Tornado Cash, for allegedly acting as a key transaction obfuscation and money laundering tool for North Korean hackers.

In January, crypto.news reported that Lazarus had successfully moved about 41,000 ETH, worth $64 million to various exchanges through a privacy tool named Railgun.

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