The United States has decided to give up to $10 million for providing valuable information in connection with North Korean crypto hacking groups. This amount is double the $5 million bounty promised by the country in March this year.
The American government has been dealing with North Korean cyber groups for years. Such entities were responsible for some of the greatest exploits in recent memory, which resulted in the theft of crypto worth millions of dollars from businesses.
North Korean cybercriminals are the world’s most skilled hackers
According to Chainalysis, North Korean cybercriminals stole about $400 million in digital assets in only 2021, primarily from exchange platforms and investment companies. Moreover, Elliptic asserted last month that Lazarus, a known cyber gang with roots in East Asia, was responsible for the Harmony hack, which led to a loss of $100 million worth of Ethereum.
The U.S. State Department is facing serious difficulties from these bad actors since it announced the $10 million bounty for information on these activities. It reads:
“If you have any information on any individuals associated with North Korean government-linked malicious cyber groups (such as Andariel, APR38, Bluenoroff, Guardians of Peace, Kimsuky, or Lazarus Group) and who are involved in targeting U.S. critical infrastructure in violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, you may be eligible for a reward.”
The difficulties the U.S. State Department has in dealing with those hackers may be due to the sophisticated methods that cybercriminals use to steal and launder cryptocurrency. The Lazarus Group was listed as one of the world’s most skilled hackers in February of this year by the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), which called them a “masterful army of cybercriminals and foreign affiliates.”
Notably, in February, a report by the U.N. stated that the North Korean Missiles Program was funded by stolen crypto funds.
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