Lazarus Group's Cryptocurrency Holdings Plummet to $47 Million Amid Heightened Cybersecurity Concerns
North Korea's Lazarus Group holds millions in cryptocurrency, with recent data exposing their vast digital wealth.
Tue, 26 Sep 2023, 01:09 am UTC
Latest data paints an eye-opening picture of North Korea's Lazarus Group's wealth in cryptocurrency. With a primary focus on Bitcoin, the group's holdings currently tally to about $47 million. Dune Analytics, sourcing data from 21.co—a subsidiary of 21Shares—shares this information.
Diving into specifics, the group's digital treasure chest includes a staggering $42.5 million in Bitcoin, Ether valued at $1.9 million, BNB worth $1.1 million, and an assortment of stablecoins totaling around $640,000, predominantly Binance USD.
There's an interesting downturn in the Lazarus Group's digital finances. Earlier this month, they reportedly possessed $86 million, with this decrease occurring shortly after Lazarus's alleged involvement in the Stake.com security breach.
Reliable sources like the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Office of Foreign Assets Control have identified nearly 295 wallets tied to the Lazarus Group, according to Dune's monitoring tools. Contrary to what one might expect, these wallets don't consist of privacy coins, like Monero, Dash, or Zcash. These are often preferred by many for their enhanced transactional anonymity.
Even with their vast digital wealth, the Lazarus Group remains very active. Transactions from their crypto wallets have been detected as recently as September 20. 21.co emphasizes that the known assets of the Lazarus Group might only be the tip of the iceberg, hinting at potentially greater undisclosed values.
Earlier this month, reports connected Lazarus Group with a cyberattack on the CoinEx crypto exchange, resulting in losses approximating $55 million. Beyond this, the FBI believes that this hacking syndicate is behind cyber-attacks on Alphapo, CoinsPaid, and Atomic Wallet. These breaches in 2023 led to unauthorized transfers of more than $200 million.
However, a silver lining emerges from a report by Chainalysis. Cryptocurrency thefts attributed to hackers with ties to North Korea have reduced by 80% since 2022. While the numbers still remain staggering, with reported thefts reaching $340.4 million by mid-September, they pale in comparison to 2022's massive $1.65 billion loss.
Recent warnings from U.S. authorities indicate potential cybersecurity threats from Lazarus Group to the American healthcare and public health sectors.
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