June 6, 2023

South Korea imposes sanctions against North Korean hackers

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South Korea imposes sanctions against North Korean hackers

The government of the Republic of Korea has blacklisted four individuals and seven organizations from North Korea, which, according to the authorities of the South, are associated with the theft of crypto assets.

Seoul's sanctions target individualssuspected of links to the Lazarus organization. The individuals affected by the measures included Park Jin-hyeok, the head of Chosun Expo, which allegedly serves as a front for Lazarus.

“These are the first sanctions against North Korea in the area ofcyber security by the South Korean government. We hope that what is happening will alert the world to the risk of virtual asset trading with North Korea.”
announced by the South Korean Foreign Ministry.

In early February, the United NationsIn its report, North Korean hackers stole more crypto assets in 2022 than any other year. UN analysts have found North Korean hackers responsible for stealing between $630 million and more than $1 billion in crypto assets last year after attacking foreign aerospace and defense networks.

The UN experts said that North Korean hackers have begun to use more ingenious schemes to steal funds, which has made it much more difficult to trace stolen crypto assets.

In January, the US Federal Bureau of Investigationstated that Lazarus was involved in the massive hack of the Harmony One gateway that occurred in mid-2022. Approximately $60 million of stolen assets were exchanged on Ethereum using the RAILGUN anonymization protocol. Some of the stolen funds were frozen thanks to the efforts of the Binance and Huobi exchanges.