US seizes crypto from North Korea with financial help
The US government is chasing North Korean hackers after seizing their stolen crypto. The US Treasury is getting help from the world’s largest crypto exchange, Finans. From new Report It turns out The US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) recently seized $US4.4 million ($4.1 million) worth of cryptocurrency held by North Korean cybercriminals.
Contact with the North Korean government
The seized cryptocurrencies were allegedly held by four North Korean institutions: the Chinyong Information Technology Cooperation Agency, Pyongyang University Automation, the 110th Research Center and the Technical Intelligence Bureau, the report said. Much of the stolen revenue was channeled directly to the North Korean government for purposes such as funding nuclear weapons programs and other military developments.
Cryptocurrencies were collected by, among others Labor fraudIt involved North Korean IT workers providing IT services with fake identities and then delivering revenue to the North Korean government in the form of crypto.
Another “victim” among the seized cryptocurrencies the report mentions is North Korean Kim Chang Man, who had $2 million worth of cryptocurrency across six wallets. Kim Chang Man is suspected of paying off relatives of IT employees and selling technology to IT groups in China and Russia.
Crypto exchange offers finance assistance
Binance left Know on Twitter Collaborated with the capture. The Binance Investigations team, working with OFAC, was able to trace wallets provided by Binance to seize $4.4 million in crypto:
“For more than a year, we have taken legal action against accounts associated with these individuals, both legally and in cooperation with law enforcement.”
We are proud to have assisted US law enforcement in seizing $4.4M and freezing accounts linked to North Korean organized crime.
Kudos to our law enforcement partners and the Financial Intelligence Team for their commitment to fighting crime worldwide.
— Finance (@finance) May 24, 2023
This is not the first time North Korean agencies have used cybercrime to finance weapons. We wrote earlier North Korean hackers have already stolen more than $1 billion in cryptocurrencies. For example, the infamous Lazarus Group is responsible for the famous ‘Harmony Horizon Bridge Hack’, where $100 million worth of cryptocurrency was hacked.
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