The FBI has identified the notorious Lazarus hacker group, known to have connections with North Korea, as the orchestrators of a $41 million heist from Stake[.]com. This cyber attack, which rattled the digital currency community, took place around September 4, 2023, according to an official statement released by the FBI on a Wednesday.
The Lazarus Group, also recognized as APT38, has gained infamy for its involvement in numerous high-profile international virtual currency heists. The FBI’s probe into this recent incident has unveiled a troubling pattern of cybercriminal activities, linking the DPRK cyber actors to multiple thefts within the cryptocurrency ecosystem. In 2023 alone, these DPRK actors have made off with over $200 million in unlawfully obtained digital assets. This staggering sum encompasses, among other incidents, about $60 million in virtual currency taken from Alphapo and CoinsPaid around July 22, 2023, and $100 million in virtual currency looted from Atomic Wallet around June 2, 2023. This underscores the audacity and proficiency of the Lazarus Group in the realm of cybercrime.
U.S. authorities have been closely monitoring the malevolent activities of the Lazarus Group. The FBI had previously issued warnings and cybersecurity advisories regarding the DPRK’s assaults on platforms like Harmony’s Horizon Bridge and Sky Mavis’ Ronin Bridge. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control had sanctioned the Lazarus Group back in 2019.
The FBI’s disclosure serves as a reminder for private sector entities operating in the cryptocurrency sphere to maintain a high level of vigilance. They are advised to revisit previous cybersecurity advisories, particularly those related to TraderTraitor, and carefully examine blockchain data linked to the identified virtual currency addresses. This vigilance is crucial in preventing transactions directly involving or originating from these addresses.
The FBI, unwavering in its dedication to counter the DPRK’s illicit activities, pledges to persist in exposing and combatting cybercrime and virtual currency theft. The agency encourages anyone with information regarding these activities to reach out to their local FBI field office or the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.