North Korea hackers accused of Axie Infinity crypto heist | Cybercrime News

The North Korean hacking program dates back to the mid-1990s and is believed to employ around 6,000 people.

The United States linked North Korean hackers to a multi-million dollar crypto theft last month that focused on players of the popular Axie Infinity game.

March hack of the blockchain project Ronin is one of the biggest events to influence the world of crypto, raising big questions about security in an industry that has only recently emerged thanks to celebrity promotions and promises. of unspeakable wealth.

The Ronin network allows users to transfer crypto in and out of the game.

“Through investigations, we were able to confirm Lazarus Group and APT38, network actors associated with [North Korea]responsible for the theft,” the FBI said in a statement.

Lazarus became famous in 2014 when it was accused hack into Sony Pictures Entertainment to avenge “The Interview,” a satirical film mocking North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. It has also been accused in relation to “WannaCry” ransomware attacksas well as hacking international banks and customer accounts.

“The United States is aware that North Korea is increasingly relying on illegal activities – including cybercrime – to generate revenue for its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs as the It tries to evade the strong sanctions of the United States and the United Nations,” a Treasury Department spokesman said. uses the abbreviation of the official name of North Korea.

North Korea’s hacking program dates back to at least the mid-1990s and has evolved into a 6,000-strong cyber warfare unit, known as Bureau 121, operating from several countries, including Belarus, China, India, Malaysia and Russia in 2020 US Military Report.

In the case of the Axie Infinity theft, attackers exploited a weakness in the setup of Vietnam-based company Sky Mavis.

The company had to solve a problem: the ethereum blockchain, which records transactions in the ether cryptocurrency, is relatively slow and expensive to use.

Allow Axie Infinity players to buy and sell at lightning speed, the company has created an in-game currency and a bridged sidechain to the main ethereum blockchain.

The result is faster and cheaper, but ultimately less secure.

Its blockchain-precise attack resulted in 173,600 ether and $25.5 million worth of stablecoins, a digital asset pegged to US dollars.

The United States is pushing for the United Nations Security Council to blacklist the Lazarus Group and freeze its assets, according to a draft resolution reviewed by Reuters news agency on Wednesday.

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