North Korean hijackers after $ 600 million crypto heist involving NFT match, FBI reports

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has linked North Korean hackers to a $ 600 million crypto scam involving an NFT-based game, Axie Infinity.

The game, which allows players to earn money with cryptocurrency by playing and trading, became the victim of a robbery at one of the biggest criminals when its blockchain-linked platform, Ronin, broke down a few months ago, but the same discovery was. made last month.

“Through our investigation we have been able to confirm that the Lazarus Group and APT38, affiliated with [North Korea] affiliates, are guilty of theft,” the FBI said in a statement on Thursday.

The Lazarus Group is believed to be under the control of North Korea’s main intelligence office. Its name has previously been linked to the infamous robbery of Sony Pictures which leaked complex information, including a film depicting Korean top leader Kim Jong-un in a humorous way.

It has also been linked to WannaCry ransomware attacks and global bank robberies. But the group has never been connected to a crypto heist before.


“The United States is aware that the DPRK has relied heavily on illegal activities, including cybercrime, to monetize its weapons of mass destruction and missile programs as it seeks to evade severe US and UN sanctions,” a spokesman for the Treasury Department said. -US.

The North Korean piracy system has probably been in operation since at least the mid-1990s and, over the years, has grown to form a 6,000-strong cyber warfare unit, called Bureau 121.

The unit is believed to operate in several countries, including Belarus. , China, India, Malaysia and Russia, says the 2020 US military report.

The heist who directed Axie Infinity released Ethereum 173,600, its combined value was estimated at $ 625 million at the time.

According to Sky Mavis, the founder of the NFT-based game, the hijackers used the back door instead of the Remote Procedure Call which ensures the transmission and return of Ronin using the stolen security keys.

Hackers may sweep up large amounts of Ethereum and USDC cryptocurrencies from Ronin after they were able to successfully disrupt network nodes.

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