North Korean state-sponsored actors have perpetrated the theft of a staggering $3 billion in cryptocurrency over the past six years, beginning in January 2017.

Kimsuky, Lazarus Group, Andariel, and other North Korean hacking groups have been behind attacks akin to typical cybercriminal gangs, albeit on a much larger scale, given that their operations have been behind 44% of all stolen cryptocurrency throughout last year, according to a report by Recorded Future’s Insikt Group.

“Since 2017, North Korea has significantly increased its focus on the cryptocurrency industry, stealing an estimated $3 billion worth of cryptocurrency,” Recorded Future analysts said.

“Initially successful in stealing from financial institutions through the hijacking of the SWIFT network, North Korea shifted its attention to cryptocurrency during the 2017 bubble, starting with the South Korean market and later expanding globally.

“In 2022 alone, North Korean threat actors were accused of stealing $1.7 billion in cryptocurrency, equivalent to 5% of the country’s economy or 45% of its military budget.”

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Last month. Microsoft’s threat intelligence team has uncovered a supply chain attack by the North Korea-based threat actor involving a malicious variant of an application developed by CyberLink, a Taiwanese company that develops multimedia software products.

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