FBI Says N. Korea-Related Hacker Group Behind Cryptofirm Heist

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A hacker group associated with North Korea, the Lazarus Group, also known as APT38, was responsible for the theft last June of $100 million from US crypto firm Harmony’s Horizon Bridge, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said Monday.

On Jan. 13, North Korean cyber actors used a privacy protocol called Railgun to launder more than $60 million worth of Ethereum stolen in the June theft, the FBI said in a statement.

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Some of the stolen ethereum was then sent to various virtual asset providers and converted to bitcoin, the FBI said.

The FBI said the theft and laundering of virtual currencies is being used by North Korea to support its ballistic missile and weapons of mass destruction programs.

In June last year, California-based Harmony said a robbery hit its Horizon bridge, the underlying software used by digital tokens like bitcoin and ethereum for transferring crypto between different blockchains.

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Reuters reported in June that North Korean hackers were most likely behind the attack on Harmony, citing three digital research firms.

Harmony is developing blockchains for decentralized finance – peer-to-peer sites that offer loans and other services without traditional gatekeepers like banks – and non-fungible tokens.

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