According to South China Morning Post (SCMP), at least 30 attacks on cryptocurrency wallets of high net worth individuals were detected recently. Cybersecurity firm Cuvepia detected these attacks.
Kwon Seok-Chul, the CEO of the Cuvepia, a South Korean cybersecurity firm, declared that his firm detected these attacks on “simple cryptocurrency wallet users.” He also mentioned that possibly a large number of these attacks have gone undetected and the total number of such attacks can be more than 100.
It is a new strategy implemented by hackers, and instead of targeting financial exchanges and institutes they are targeting individuals holding cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. The individuals get an email containing a download link. Once they download the file, hackers gain control of their device. The paper claims that North Korea backed the hacks. As per their estimate, the North Korean Government supported more than 65% of all the cryptocurrency stolen due to hacking over the years.
The experts in cybersecurity opine that the reason behind the increasing attack on individuals is because of the increased security measures by the exchanges and institutions. The heightened security measures have made it relatively harder for hackers. Therefore, they look for easier targets that are individuals with weaker security measures. Most of these targets are wealthy South Korean individuals. It is also concluded that hackers might have taken information about from previous intrusions in the exchanges. They had fixed their targets, and on the second phase, they attacked individuals to loot the amount. The amount stolen may run into billions.
Political analysts are supporting a state-backed hacking as North Korea needs money to run its operations and the stolen cryptocurrency may be one solution. Their depleted foreign currency reserves and international mainly ban sanctioned by the United States of America has pushed them to use illegal activities to fund balance of payment.