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Asia Accounts for 60% of Losses to North Korean Hackers

Asia Accounts for 60% of Losses to North Korean Hackers

A newly published report from Elliptic, commissioned by Nikkei, found Asia accounts for 60% of losses to North Korean hackers, with Japan suffering the worst.

A report published by Elliptic and commissioned by Nikkei Asia found that Asian countries make up three of the four top targets of hacking. The report further found that Japan suffered 30% of the losses from North Korean crypto hacking.

Elliptic’s study analyzed cryptocurrency losses to cyberattacks from North Korea from 2017 to 2022 and looked at both hacking and ransomware attacks which it describes as North Korea’s “national strategy.”

According to the report, Japan realized losses of $721 million in cyber-attacks representing 30% of the global total of $2.3 billion based on an estimate of $640 million of cryptocurrencies lost in 2022. Nikkei reports the United Nations found that crypto theft reached new highs in 2022:

According to the Japan External Trade Organization, the $721 million stolen from Japan is 8.8 times greater than the value of North Korea’s exports in 2021.

Lax Security Played a Role

Elliptic reported that Vietnam was the second-most attacked country losing $540 million, the US third with $497 million in losses, and Hong Kong fourth with losses of $281 million.

The report identified lax security in Japan and Vietnam’s crypto markets as the motivation for hackers to target these countries.

North Korean Missile Program Funded by Stolen Crypto

The White House revealed last week that almost half of North Korea’s missile program is funded by stolen crypto and cyber-attacks.

US officials have long suspected that stolen assets have funded Pyongyang’s weapons development program, and reports from the United Nations and private firms indicate that hacking is a crucial source of revenue for the country.

The Kim Jong Un-led dictatorship has reportedly stolen over $1 billion from the cryptocurrency sectors through the activities of the Lazarus Group.

The infamous Lazarus Group has been linked to high-profile attacks such as the $100 million hack of Harmony Protocol’s Horizon Bridge.  

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.