Japan ranks first in losses to North Korean hackers


  • Japan takes first place in losses of funds to North Korean-linked hackers.
  • The report shows that Japan and Vietnam have vulnerabilities in digital security.

According to a recent study conducted by blockchain analytics firm Elliptic, Japan has emerged as the primary target of cryptocurrency-related cyberattacks by North Korean hackers. The study, commissioned and reported by the Japanese financial publication Nikkei, examined cryptocurrency losses resulting from North Korean cyberattacks between 2017 and 2022.

Japan has lost $721 million to the hackers

The report encompasses both hacking and ransomware incidents. Elliptic noted that these attacks are part of North Korea’s overarching national strategy. The study revealed that Japan incurred losses of $721 million, accounting for 30% of the global total of over $2.3 billion in losses.

This estimate was based on the approximate loss of $640 million in cryptocurrency during 2022. The United Nations also reported that North Korean crypto theft reached record levels in 2022.

The amount stolen from Japan alone exceeds the value of North Korea’s exports in 2021, according to the Japan External Trade Organization cited by Nikkei. Vietnam ranked as the second-most targeted country, experiencing losses of $540 million during the same period.

The United States followed closely in third place with losses amounting to $497 million, while Hong Kong trailed behind in fourth place with losses totaling $281 million.

The report identified vulnerabilities in Japanese and Vietnamese digital securities

Elliptic attributed the hackers’ focus on both countries to the relatively lax security measures observed in their respective cryptocurrency markets. Nikkei further reported that between 2018 and 2021, at least three Japanese crypto exchanges were successfully breached by hackers.

The infamous Lazarus Group, affiliated with North Korea, has been responsible for some of the most significant cryptocurrency heists, including the Ronin Bridge exploit and the Harmony Bridge hack.

Additionally, there have been allegations of North Korean involvement in the theft of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and the laundering of stolen funds through decentralized finance services and cryptocurrency mixers.

The findings of the Elliptic study underscore the pressing need for heightened cybersecurity measures in the countries crypto sectors. Authorities and industry players must prioritize strengthening security protocols to safeguard against such attacks.

Efforts to enhance cybersecurity practices and raise awareness of potential vulnerabilities will be crucial in mitigating the risks posed by North Korean hackers and protecting the integrity of the global cryptocurrency ecosystem.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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Owotunse Adebayo

Adebayo loves to keep tab of exciting projects in the blockchain space. He is a seasoned writer who has written tons of articles about cryptocurrencies and blockchain.

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