North Korean hackers have increased the attacks on cryptocurrency exchanges of South Korea. Recently, they have breached an English-language bitcoin news website and collected bitcoin ransom payments from global victims of the malware WannaCry.-
According to a report from cybersecurity firm FireEye, within past six months, they have tracked at least five attacks on bitcoin exchanges or individual bitcoin wallets. Most of the targets were South Korea-based exchange Yapizon.
"Since May 2017, we have observed North Korean actors target at least three South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges with the suspected intent of stealing funds," FireEye wrote on their blog.
In June, South Korea’s top crypto exchange Bithumb was hacked, While earlier this month only, the country’s top Ethereum exchange is said to have lost over $1 million via a breach.
"Add to that the ties between North Korean operators and a watering hole compromise of a bitcoin news site in 2016, as well as at least one instance of usage of a surreptitious cryptocurrency miner, and we begin to see a picture of North Korean interest in cryptocurrencies, an asset class in which bitcoin alone has increased over 400% since the beginning of this year," FireEye report.
There has been an exponential increase in the bitcoin, it touched to $5,000 per coin this month, and Ethereum, which has gone from $8 per coin in January to around $300 today.-
“It should be no surprise that cryptocurrencies, as an emerging asset class, are becoming a target of interest by a regime that operates in many ways like a criminal enterprise. While at present North- Korea is somewhat distinctive in both their willingness to engage in financial crime and their possession of cyber espionage capabilities, the uniqueness of this combination will likely not last long-term as rising cyber powers may see similar potential,” FireEye concluded.