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    North Korean Hackers Suspected in Crypto Hack

    The FBI has identified North Korean hackers as the perpetrators behind the Axie Infinity hack.

    In late March, the creators of the online game Axie Infinity, which enables users to earn and store cryptocurrency and NFTs, were targeted in a significant hack that resulted in approximately $600 million in cryptocurrency being lost. This breach was executed through a specialized network that allowed users to transfer cryptocurrency across different blockchains, a system clandestinely integrated by an initially unidentified hacker group.

    Recently, the FBI pointed to Lazarus Group as the main suspect in this attack. Lazarus Group is a hacker collective, suspected to have ties to the North Korean government. The FBI stated, “Through our investigation, we were able to confirm Lazarus Group and APT38, cyber actors associated with the DPRK, are responsible for the theft of $620 million in Ethereum reported on March 29th.”

    In response, the US Treasury Department issued sanctions on the specific crypto wallet utilized by Lazarus Group to receive the stolen cryptocurrency. According to experts tracking cryptocurrency crimes, Lazarus Group has successfully pilfered around $1.75 billion in various cryptocurrencies over recent years. There are concerns among national security experts that some or all of this illicit money may have been channeled to the North Korean government to support nuclear weapons research.

    According to Ari Redbord, the head of legal affairs at financial crime tracker TRM Labs, “A hack of a cryptocurrency business, unlike a retailer, for example, is essentially bank robbery at the speed of the internet and funds North Korea’s destabilizing activity and weapons proliferation. As long as they are successful and profitable, they will not stop.”

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