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North Korea-Linked Hackers Suspected for USD $70 Million Crypto Theft

Blockchain analysts have identified North Korea-linked hackers as the likely culprits behind a USD $70 million theft from cryptocurrency exchange CoinEx.


The Hong Kong-based exchange reported on social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter) that its crypto asset wallets had been hacked. The theft represents a small portion of CoinEx's total assets.

Research firm Elliptic has pointed to several factors that suggest the Lazarus Group, a hacker group associated with North Korea, was responsible for the attack. Elliptic noted that some of the stolen funds were sent to a crypto wallet address previously used by the Lazarus Group for laundering stolen funds. Additionally, the funds were transferred to the Ethereum blockchain using a blockchain "bridge" that had also been utilised by the Lazarus Group.

CoinEx has not publicly attributed the attack to any specific entity but acknowledged that security firms have linked the incident to North Korean cyber-espionage teams. The investigation into the hacker's identity is ongoing.

Chainalysis, another blockchain research firm, has expressed "medium-high confidence" that North Korea was behind the attack. According to Elliptic, the Lazarus Group has recently intensified its operations, with four separate attacks resulting in the theft of approximately $240 million worth of crypto assets since June.

North Korea has been increasingly involved in cryptocurrency theft, employing sophisticated techniques to fund its nuclear and missile programs. Last year, the country stole more cryptocurrency than any other year, as reported by the United Nations.

  • Blockchain analysts suspect North Korea-linked hackers are responsible for a USD $70 million crypto theft from CoinEx.

  • The Lazarus Group, associated with North Korea, is believed to be behind the attack based on various factors.

  • Stolen funds were sent to a crypto wallet address previously used by the Lazarus Group for laundering.


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