Even though blockchain technology has all sorts of security applications, one thing is for sure: cryptocurrency exchanges are vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks, and hackers have exploited these flaws for massive gains. However, no hacker crew has been quite as successful as the infamous North Korean group of hackers, dubbed “Lazarus,” which is responsible for the theft of over half a billion dollars in cryptocurrency since 2017.
The information arrives courtesy of a new report by Group-IB, widely considered one of the leading cybersecurity companies in the world. The award-winning company was founded in 2003, and is known for successfully protecting the 2014 Sochi Olympics (with regards to its brand, ticket sales, etc), as well as blocking attempts to pirate media from some of the largest media companies in the world, such as Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures, and Fox TV.
Group IB’s report, which was first profiled in The Next Web, also points out that some of the most aggressive hacker groups will likely shift their focus to cryptocurrency exchanges instead of banks. There is no doubt that hacking cryptocurrency exchanges has been lucrative when successful, considering that over $700 million was stolen within the first half of the year. Many have questioned just how preventable some of these attacks are, with Coincheck — a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange hacked for more than $500 million — admitting that, “we didn’t have enough people working on internal checks, management, and system risk.”
About The Lazarus Group
The group of hackers known as The Lazarus Group (also known as HIDDEN COBRA) is notoriously elusive, and no significant tally can yet be made of how many members are involved. Regardless, they have attacks that have been attributed to them stemming from 2009. They are known for several high-profile bank attacks – most notably, the 2016 Bangladesh bank robbery, that resulted in the group successfully stealing over $80 million. They are perhaps best known for the infamous Sony Pictures Hack.
Lazarus has been focused on cryptocurrency for some time now, and recently have been utilizing a malware campaign known as AppleJesus that was especially effective with regards to Mac users. Many believe that the hacker group is targeting cryptocurrency as a result of the fact that the United States is attempting to isolate the country from the global financial system, as a result of its nuclear program, and that cryptocurrencies are an easier target, considering the fact that they are not controlled by a bank or government.