Hackers stole a record $3.8 billion worth of cryptocurrency globally last year, led by thieves tied to North Korea, according to a blockchain analytics firm that tracks cybercrime.
Researchers at Chainalysis called 2022 “the biggest year ever for crypto hacking” in a report published last week. Thefts rose from $3.3 billion stolen in 2021, the firm reported.
Separately, a confidential United Nations report found that North Korea stole more cryptocurrency assets last year than in any other year, according to Radio Free Asia.
Cryptocurrency investors in the United States have been pouring millions into bitcoin, ether, dogecoin and other popular tokens in the hopes of generating a fortune during the coronavirus pandemic.
However, some investors have instead suffered losses due to hackers, with their digital wallets plundered on platforms with poor cybersecurity.
For example, according to a recent Chainalysis report, North Korean cybercriminals “shattered their own yearly record for most cryptocurrency stolen” and tallied $1.7 billion in thefts in 2022.
This suggests that the country’s cybercrime industry is now a far more important part of the national economy than previously thought.
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