Update on DPRK Cyber Activity and Cryptocurrency Theft

Having stolen over USD 700 million worth of crypto last year, North Korean hackers are not resting on their laurels. Pyongyang’s cyber criminals continue to evolve their attack and money laundering techniques.

In 2024, the DPRK’s hacker army will continue to prioritize speed and automation to evade ever-improving transaction monitoring tools. As crypto prices inch up and the backlogs of funds to be laundered from previous attacks reduce, expect hacks to accelerate by the second half of this year.

TRM’s latest report assesses North Korea’s hacks to date and looks at trends for the year ahead.

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Key Insights:

Attacks by North Korean hackers resulted in ten times more losses in 2023 than those perpetrated by other actors.

North Korean hackers have diversified the bridges they use, reduced the value of individual bridging transactions and increased their speed.

North Korean hackers typically convert stolen funds to USDT and transfer them to the Tron blockchain. They are then off-ramped by high-volume brokers using informal financial channels.