This week, hackers stole approximately $41 million in cryptocurrencies from Stake.com, an online casino and sports betting site. On Wednesday, the FBI attributed the hack to North Korea and its infamous state-sponsored Lazarus Group.
“The FBI has confirmed that this theft occurred around September 4, 2023 and attributes it to the Lazarus Group (also known as APT38), comprised of cyber actors from the DPRK,” the agency said. said in a press release.
Stake.com co-founder Edward Craven told crypto media outlet DL News that the attack was a “sophisticated breach” exploiting a service the casino uses to authorize crypto transactions. Regardless of the staggering sum that was stolen by government hackers – especially as cryptocurrency prices remain stuck in a serious crisis – Craven said Stake.com would continue to operate.
The North Korean group Lazarus is notorious and was added to the US sanctions list in 2019. The group, also known as APT38, is responsible for many high-profile hacks that have taken place over the years, until ‘has well over a billion dollars. This year alone, the FBI notes, the Lazarus Group has stolen more than $200 million in crypto. Blockchain is inherently traceable, so federal authorities know the addresses to which funds were transferred. The FBI advises people to “exercise vigilance and guard against transactions directly with or derived from these addresses.”
As for what North Korea is doing with all this cryptography, experts speculate that the nation channel funds toward its nuclear weapons program. Kim Jong-un will visit Russia this month where he is expected to discuss the supply of weapons to fuel Vladimir Putin’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, which US officials have warned will lead the nation to “pay a price”.