Binance US Helps Regulators Freeze $4.4M Linked to Hackers

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Binance, the leading cryptocurrency exchange, said it “assisted US law enforcement” in seizing $4.4 million worth of cryptocurrency assets linked to North Korean cyber criminal organizations in a post on Twitter on May 25.

Binance Investigation Team Collaborates with US Agencies

In this tweet the crypto exchange gave credits to the Binance Investigations team which collaborated with American law enforcement in order to stop the “illicit revenue generation activities” of four North Korean organizations that are now sanctioned.

According to Binance: 

“We proactively took action against accounts connected to these individuals over a year ago, in compliance with lawfully served warrants and in collaboration with law enforcement.”

OFAC Announced Actions Against 4 Firms and 1 Person

Notably, on May 23, the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the Department of the Treasury stated that sanctions had been imposed against four businesses and one person for engaging in “malicious cyber activities that support the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Government.”

The four organizations were the Technical Reconnaissance Bureau, the 110th Research Centre, the Chinyong Information Technology Cooperation Company, and Pyongyang University of Automation.

Illicit Revenue Generate to Fund WMDs

According to the Treasury, Chinyong is thought to be equipped with a “workforce of thousands of highly skilled IT workers around the world” who are responsible for producing “revenue that contributes to its unlawful WMD and ballistic missile programs.”

Kim Sang Man (Kim), who is “presumed to be involved in the payment of salaries to family members of Chinyong’s overseas DPRK worker delegations” and received $2 million in cryptocurrency for trading IT equipment to DPRK-affiliated groups in both Russia and China, was additionally mentioned in the OFAC sanctions.

North Korean Hackers Wreaking Havoc

According to a United Nations (UN) study from February, North Korea stole more cryptocurrency assets in 2022 than any previous year. 

The study claims that hackers in this area used better tools and strategies as they carried out their operations. Earlier, it was found that the amount of North Korean crypto theft that had been reported over the previous five years had been taken in only one year, 2022.

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