They are considered the most notorious hacker group in the world, celebrated and copied by cybercriminals, feared by secret services worldwide. the Lazarus Group from North Korea is said to be behind some of the most devastating hacks of the 21st century. Also the $625 million hack of the popular blockchain game Axe Infinity According to a recent report by the FBI, it is attributed to the North Korean shadow warriors. It was the biggest crypto heist of all time so far. What is known about Kim Jong-un’s cyber army – and how dangerous is it for crypto space?
Lazarus funds the nuclear weapons program
The identity of the members of Lazarus is still secret today, according to the FBI, the collective acts directly on behalf of the North Korean regime, the first attacks go back to 2009. Lazarus is said to consist of several thousand hackers with their own sub-units. They operate industrial espionage, create chaos, steal funds. Lazarus has long been underestimated. Today, the collective is one of the most powerful weapons in North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un’s arsenal. According to the UN, the dictator is funding his illegal nuclear weapons program with the hundreds of millions of dollars that his army of hackers pours into North Korea’s war coffers every year.
The most notorious attacks of hackers
Banks, pharmaceutical companies, defense contractors and sometimes entire countries are regularly targeted by hackers. Lazarus became famous with a disastrous attack on Sony Entertainment in 2014. According to their own statements, the group stole several terabytes of personal data from employees, producers and Hollywood stars unnoticed for months and published parts of it as punishment for the film “The Interview”, a Comedy about the assassination of Kim Jong-un.
In 2017, the collective unleashed a new form of malware onto the world, WannaCry. Over 230,000 computers in 150 countries are infected, users are blackmailed. Europol classifies the hack as an attack of “unprecedented proportions”. It later becomes known that the computer virus was invented by the NSA itself, presumably getting to Lazarus via Russian hackers.
Lazarus attacks the crypto market
Since 2018, the crypto market has also been a popular target for Lazarus. The group steals hundreds of millions of dollars every year, according to data leader Chainalysis. In 2020 it was 500 million from the crypto exchange Kucoin alone the worst hack of the year.
The FBI repeatedly warned this year that Lazarus is increasing its activities in the crypto sector. A recent report cites several targets the shadow army could target in the future, including crypto exchanges, decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols, venture capital funds, crypto whales, and holders of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The US secret service recently established its own task force for the intensifying cyber war in crypto space.