The South Korean National Intelligence Service has revealed that North Korea could be behind attacks on its largest cryptocurrency exchange.
In the wake of new this November that revealed that North Korea was intensifying its hacking efforts against cryptocurrency exchanges, and now that the US Government has officially blamed the rogue nation for the recent WannaCry attacks earlier this year, South Korea’ National Intelligence Service has indicated that its northern neighbour could also be behind continuing attacks on its largest cryptocurrency exchange.
As we reported earlier this year, North Korean hacker groups have launched a multitude of offenses against South Korean-based entities in the recent past, which have specifically targeted vital financial infrastructure.
Reports show that between January and September of 2017 alone, over 5,366 ransomware attacks targeting cryptocurrency-related entities have occurred. Between the months of July and August, the Korean Internet & Security Agency (KISA) uncovered malicious software housed within the desktop systems of many South Korean Bitcoin exchanges.
Now, the National Intelligence Service has illustrated that North Korea could be behind not only attacks on leading cryptocurrency exchange Bitthumb, but further attacked South Korean exchange Coinis in September.
South Korea’s National Police Agency further confirmed that some 25 employees from four different exchanges were targeted in ten separate phishing attempts this year.
February’s attack on Bithumb saw some $6.99 million USD worth in cryptocurrencies plundered, while hackers went on the demand a ransom of some $5,5 million USD for the destruction of leaked information from the platform.
The attacks show little sign of abating – targeting cryptocurrency-related operations (specifically those involving Bitcoin) provide North Korea with a form of lifeline considering the heavy imposition of international sanctions and mounting tension between itself, the United States, and China.
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