May 16, 2023

Japan Biggest Loser of Crypto Due To North Korean Hackers

North Korean Hackers

North Korean Hackers

A recent study by blockchain analytics firm Elliptic showed that North Korean hackers made Japan the biggest loser of cryptocurrencies over the past years.

Japanese media company Nikkei reported the study, which focused on the amount of crypto seized by North Korean hackers from 2017 to 2022, which described North Korea’s theft of crypto as a national strategy, according to Cointelegraph.

The study found that North Korea’s hackers stole $721 million in crypto from Japan only in this period, representing 30% of the world total of over $2.3 billion.

According to Elliptic, $640 million of crypto was stolen in 2022. In this regard, the Japan External Trade Organization said the $721 million stolen from the country is 8.8 times greater than the value of the North Korean exports in 2021.

Vietnam was the second-largest loser of cryptocurrency to North Korean hackers. The report found that it lost $540 million in the abovementioned period, followed by the US with $497 million in losses, and Hong Kong trailed in fourth place with losses of $281 million.

The Elliptic report said that 60% of crypto losses due to North Korean hackers and ransomware users targeted Asian countries, attributing the big losses by Japan and Vietnam to their lax security, which makes them easy targets for the North Korean hackers.

Earlier in February, the United Nations said in a report that North Korea topped the world’s countries in terms of crypto hackers, who stole crypto assets in 2022 more than any year before.

The report, which was submitted to the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee on North Korea last week, reportedly found North Korean hackers stole crypto assets with a value ranging between $630 million and more than $1 billion last year after attacking networks of defense companies and foreign aerospace.

The UN report pointed out that the North Korean attacks were more complicated than in previous years, making the process of tracking stolen crypto assets more difficult than ever.

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