Home Cryptocurrency North Korean Lazarus Group amasses over $40M in Bitcoin, data reveals

North Korean Lazarus Group amasses over $40M in Bitcoin, data reveals

by Harry Garcia

The Lazarus Group, a renowned North Korean hacking collective, holds a staggering $47 million in cryptocurrency, with the majority of it being in Bitcoin (BTC), according to new data. The information was collated on Dune Analytics from 21.co, the parent company of 21Shares.

The wallets associated with the Lazarus Group currently contain approximately $42.5 million worth of BTC, $1.9 million in Ether (ETH), $1.1 million in BNB, and an additional $640,000 in stablecoins, primarily Binance USD (BUSD). This total indicates a significant drop from the reported $86 million the group held on September 6.

Dune Analytics tracks 295 wallets identified by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) as owned by the hacking group. Surprisingly, the data reveals that the Lazarus Group does not hold any privacy coins, such as Monero (XMR), Dash (DASH), or Zcash (ZEC), which are notoriously harder to trace.

Despite the decrease in holdings, Lazarus crypto wallets remain active, with the most recent transaction recorded on September 20. Furthermore, 21.co suggests that the group’s actual holdings are likely to be higher than reported, stating that the current estimate is a lower-bound estimation based on publicly available information.

Lazarus Group has been implicated in numerous high-profile attacks, including the recent hacking of Stake.com, which resulted in a theft of $41 million. The FBI has also linked the group to the hacks on CoinEx, Alphapo, CoinsPaid, and Atomic Wallet, which collectively led to the theft of over $200 million.

However, it is worth noting that crypto thefts attributed to North Korea-linked hackers have significantly dropped. Chainalysis reported an 80% decrease in crypto thefts by these hackers in 2023 compared to the previous year. As of mid-September, North Korea-linked groups had stolen $340.4 million, a substantial reduction from the record $1.65 billion pilfered in 2022.

Recently, U.S. federal authorities issued a warning about the “significant risk” posed by Lazarus Group for potential attacks on the healthcare and public health sector entities in the United States.

The Lazarus Group’s cryptocurrency holdings highlight the ongoing importance of cybersecurity in the digital asset space. As hackers continue to target the cryptocurrency industry, investors and companies must prioritize robust security measures to protect their assets from such malicious activities.

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