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North Korean Hackers Steal $721 Million Worth of Cryptocurrency from Japan

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In a recent report by the Japanese newspaper Nikkei, it has been revealed that North Korean hackers have successfully stolen an astonishing $721 million worth of cryptocurrency from Japan since 2017. This eye-opening report, which references a study conducted by the UK blockchain analysis firm Elliptic, highlights the magnitude of the issue, as the stolen amount represents a staggering 30% of the total losses incurred worldwide due to cryptocurrency theft.

Growing Threats and International Response

The release of this report coincides with a declaration made by the Group of Seven (G7) finance ministers and central bank governors. The G7 officials have committed to supporting countermeasures against the increasing threats posed by state actors, specifically addressing the theft of crypto-assets. This acknowledgment from global financial leaders emphasizes the urgency to tackle the rising issue of cybercrime in the cryptocurrency space.

Sophisticated Techniques Employed by North Korean Hackers

Elliptic’s comprehensive study reveals that North Korean hackers have employed various sophisticated methods to carry out these cryptocurrency thefts. These tactics include phishing attacks, malware distribution, and exploiting vulnerabilities in cryptocurrency exchanges. Furthermore, the hackers have resorted to ransomware attacks as a means to extort cryptocurrency from their unfortunate victims.

Funding Illicit Programs with Stolen Cryptocurrency

According to the report, it is evident that North Korea is utilizing the stolen cryptocurrency to finance its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. The country, already subject to international sanctions due to its nuclear and missile activities, relies heavily on the illicitly obtained digital assets as a significant source of funding for these prohibited programs.

The Escalating Threat of Cryptocurrency Theft

The findings presented in this report serve as a stark reminder of the escalating threat posed by cryptocurrency theft. As the value of cryptocurrencies continues to soar, the incentive for hackers to target these digital assets intensifies. Consequently, it is crucial for cryptocurrency users to remain vigilant and take necessary steps to protect their valuable assets from falling into the wrong hands.

Protecting Your Cryptocurrency: Essential Tips

To mitigate the risks associated with cryptocurrency theft, it is imperative to implement robust security measures. Here are some valuable tips to safeguard your digital assets:

1. Use strong passwords and two-factor authentication.

Creating strong and unique passwords for your cryptocurrency accounts is vital. Additionally, enabling two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security, making it significantly harder for hackers to gain unauthorized access.

2. Keep your cryptocurrency in a secure wallet.

Utilize a secure and reputable wallet to store your cryptocurrencies. Hardware wallets, such as Ledger or Trezor, offer offline storage and are considered highly secure options to safeguard your digital assets.

3. Exercise caution when interacting with unknown sources.

Be cautious when clicking on links or downloading files from unfamiliar sources. Malicious actors often use these tactics to inject malware into your devices, compromising the security of your cryptocurrency holdings.

4. Stay vigilant against phishing attacks.

Phishing attacks are prevalent in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Be wary of suspicious emails, messages, or websites that request personal information or login credentials. Always double-check the authenticity of the source before providing any sensitive data.

5. Report any suspicious activity.

If you notice any suspicious activity related to your cryptocurrency accounts, promptly report it to the relevant authorities. Reporting such incidents helps combat cybercrime and protect the larger cryptocurrency community.

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