North Korea accused of major cryptocurrency heists

N. Korea Continues Hacking Attempts on Domestic Cryptocurrency Platforms

N. Korea Continues Hacking Attempts on Domestic Cryptocurrency Platforms

While South Korea's intelligence agency has not presented clear evidence to back the claim, those will knowledge of the situation believe that North Korea's involvement in the Coincheck hack is a strong possibility.

The National Intelligence Service is investigating last month's incident - one of the largest cryptocurrency heists in history - based on similarities with past cases associated with its northern neighbor's cyber-attack apparatus, said the lawmaker, who didn't want to be identified because of the sensitivity of the information.

Japanese authorities on Friday swooped on Coincheck with surprise checks of its systems and said it had asked the exchange to fix flaws in its computer networks well before the theft. The exchange, which halted withdrawals after detecting the infiltration on January 26, has said it's bolstering security systems before resuming operations. It later announced a compensation policy created to return more than 260,000 users who were affected by the breach. South Korea has been making a point of pointing out North Korea's ongoing interest in cryptocurrency despite the recent fall in value that has plagued the coins.

This is not the first time that North Korea is being held responsible for a huge cyberattack.

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The National Intelligence Service alleged that North Korea has stolen tens of billions of won (10 billion won equals $9.18 million) in hacking attacks on South Korean cryptocurrency exchange providers, according to one parliament member.

According to a person familiar with the situation who spoke to Reuters they said that 'it's a possibility that North Korea was behind the theft.' They explained that it was likely that North Korean hackers will target the cryptocurrency market because of its sheer size.

Last year's attack on South Korean crypto exchange Bithumb resulted in roughly 7.6 billion won ($6.99M USD) being stolen, along with the personal information of some 30,000 customers.

North Korea also ran a near-record trade deficit of $1.96 billion with China in 2017, the NIS reportedly informed the National Assembly on Monday, owing to United Nations Security Council sanctions banning exports of goods including coal, marine products and garments.

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