North Korean Hackers Attack Cryptocurrency Exchanges

North Korean Hackers Attack Cryptocurrency Exchanges

North Korean hackers are reportedly attacking cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea and related sites, as security researcher FireEye Inc. suggested

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North Korean hackers are reportedly attacking cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea and related sites, as security researcher FireEye Inc. suggested in a recent report.

In addition, the hackers have breached an English-language bitcoin news website and asked for bitcoin ransom payments from global victims of the malware WannaCry, as Bloomberg (bloomberg.com) wrote in an article on the subject.

North Korea is showing a growing interest in cryptocurrencies, with FireEye informing about attacks on at least three South Korean exchanges. The one that took place in May was successful.

“Around the same time, local media reported that Seoul-based exchange Yapizon lost more than 3,800 bitcoins (worth about $15 million at current rates) due to theft, although FireEye said there are not clear indications of North Korean involvement.”, as Bloomberg explained in their report.

It is believed that South Korea has become an object of hacker attacks due to its proximity and shared language. On top of that, the country has turned into a busy trading hub for cryptocurrencies this year. The world`s biggest exchange of Ethereum, Bithumb, is actually situated in South Korea, as Bloomberg noted.

“As more money goes into cryptocurrency exchanges and more people buy bitcoin and ethereum, exchanges become larger targets for this group.”, as Luke McNamara, a researcher at FireEye and author of the new report, told Bloomebrg.

FireEye said that hackers would probably convert the ransoms in bitcoin or ethereum into a harder-to-trace cryptocurrency like Monero before they could exchange them for dollars.

It is suspected that those who demand cryptocurrency ransoms want to use them to launder money, as Bloomberg highlighted.

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