In the ever-evolving landscape of cryptocurrency, the digital realm has become a battleground where innovation and criminality collide. Recent times have witnessed a surge in challenges, with one notable incident sending shockwaves through the global financial sphere. According to BitcoinCasinos.com, North Korea’s backed syndicate, the Lazarus group had a field day in Q3, 2023. The hacking group unleashed a wave of attacks that stole a staggering $208.6 million. This accounted for 30% of the quarter’s total loss.
Edith Reads, a betting analyst from BitcoinCasinos, commented on the recent Lazarus Group cyberattacks, “Lazarus group’s stunning heist shows the threats associated with state-sponsored cybercrimes. The attacks are a masterclass with high technical prowess and master skills. Crypto exchanges must enrich their security procedures to avert any future attempts.”
Masterclass in Covert Cybercrime?
July 22, 2023, was among the days Lazarus struck. Lazarus accessed hot wallets from the CoinsPaid payment site through a social engineering attack. The FBI verified that they stole about $37.3 million worth of cryptos. In a similar operation, the hacker group stole $60 million in crypto assets from Alphapo, a crypto payment firm. Compromised private keys allowed the attackers to access the site. The FBI subsequently linked Lazarus to this attack.
On September 4, Lazarus targeted Stake.com, an online crypto casino. The group stole a private key, giving them access to the platform. They made away with almost $41 million in virtual currency. On September 6, the FBI confirmed in a news statement that the Lazarus Group was carrying out this attack.
Also, a cyberattack targeted the centralized crypto exchange CoinEx on September 12, 2023. The attack saw CoinEx lose $54 million. Several indicators point to Lazarus as the perpetrator of this attack.
Impact on Q3 2023’s Financial Landscape
There is a concern about the sophistication of state-sponsored cybercriminals. Cryptocurrency exchanges and financial institutions are racing to strengthen their security protocols. Yet, policymakers must now review and bolster cybersecurity protocols.
The thefts are highlighting the weaknesses in the global financial sectors’ security. They have an impact on more than just the designated institutions. Instead, they demonstrate how susceptible everyone is. Still, conversations are being sparked by the cyberattacks organized by Lazarus Group. International collaboration is necessary to combat state-sponsored cybercriminals.
The Lazarus group menace is not new. In 2022, the group pushed crypto theft to $3.8 billion. The figure sent shockwaves across the entire finance sector. As we are in the final quarter of 2023, observing the pattern and establishing how best to fill the available gaps should be the priority for crypto exchanges.