North Korean hackers are increasingly interested in cryptocurrency theft

A hacker group in North Korea has reportedly turned its attention to stealing cryptocurrencies as the country’s economy recovers from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a report by the Daily NK, the North Korean-based hacker group Lazarus has stepped up its efforts to steal cryptocurrencies. The band first became famous for their hack on Sony Pictures in 2014 due to the release of the movie “The Interview”. Lazarus was also responsible for the high-profile cyber robbery of the Bank of Bangladesh in 2016. Lazarus is suspected of being behind several hacker attacks on cryptocurrency exchanges.

EST Security, a cybersecurity company based in Seoul, has warned that the hacker group is currently focused on stealing cryptocurrencies.

The report states:

Lazarus carries out APT (adaptive constant threats) attacks not only in South Korea but also internationally, including in the United States. They are also involved in cyber-espionage operations, as well as activities designed to generate foreign exchange.


The hacker group uses malicious emails disguised as updates from cryptocurrency payment services to infect consumer devices.

According to the Daily NK report, analysts warn that the theft of cryptocurrencies could bring ” huge profits ” to North Korea, amid the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic and economic sanctions imposed on the country.