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Lazarus Group funnels $147.5m stolen crypto to N.Korea via Tornado Cash: UN report | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

In a recent bombshell from a confidential United Nations report, it’s been uncovered that the infamous North Korean hacking group, The Lazarus Group, has been funneling thousands of stolen cryptocurrency back to their home turf.

This revelation highlights a whopping $147.5 million worth of crypto laundered through Tornado Cash, a mixer that faced sanctions in 2021.

The Lazarus Heist

The Lazarus Group made headlines in March 2023 with one of the biggest crypto heists ever, targeting the HTX exchange, led by TRON’s founder, Justin Sun. The stolen funds quickly disappeared into the digital abyss, laundered through Tornado Cash. Despite its reputation for privacy, this mixer came under fire for enabling such nefarious activities.

Uncovering the UN’s Findings

Presented to a security council sanctions committee, the UN report unveils a broader investigation involving 97 suspected cyber attacks by North Korean actors on crypto firms between 2017 and 2024, resulting in a staggering $3 billion in stolen assets.

It’s a stark reminder of North Korea’s growing prowess in cyber warfare, with cybercrime emerging as a lucrative source of foreign exchange for the secretive nation.

The Role of Tornado Cash

For North Korean hackers, Tornado Cash has been a favored platform for laundering their ill-gotten gains. Despite US sanctions in 2022 citing its role in facilitating money laundering for North Korea, the mixer continued operations.

In 2023, two of its co-founders faced charges for aiding in over $1 billion in money laundering activities, including those linked to North Korean cybercriminals.

The Threat is Rising

NK’s hackers’ appetite for cryptocurrency targets has only grown, with a record 20 hacks in 2023 alone, even amidst a market downturn.

Chainalysis reports over $1 billion in proceeds from these attacks, with a significant chunk coming from DeFi platforms and other centralized services, exchanges, and wallet providers.

The Menace Persists

With advanced tactics and the use of mixers like Tornado Cash, the Lazarus Group continues to pose a significant threat to global financial security. The international community remains vigilant, working to trace and recover stolen assets while implementing stricter sanctions and security measures to thwart future cybercrime.

Also Check Out : Crypto Hack Report This Week: Analyzing Recent DeFi Hacks and Security Breaches

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