South Korea has imposed sanctions on North Korea Over Crypto Theft

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Sanctions have been implemented by the South Korean government in reaction to cyberattacks that were purportedly carried out by North Korea to fund its military projects.

Four North Korean individuals and seven businesses are the targets of the sanctions, the Foreign Ministry in Seoul stated on Friday.

The Reconnaissance General Bureau, North Korea’s primary intelligence organization, is linked to actors who are said to be in charge of the country’s cyberwarfare operations. These penalties are the first ones that the South has independently imposed.

They include the hacking group Lazarus Group, which has been linked to hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of stolen cryptocurrency, and Park Jin Hyok, one of its members and one of the cybercriminals on the FBI’s Most Wanted list, who is suspected of being responsible for the Wannacry ransomware and other cyberattacks.

A senior Foreign Ministry official was quoted by the Korea Herald as saying that they are “not the only targets” that are being investigated. Pyongyang Automation University, which is thought to be teaching North Korean hackers, was also put on a blacklist, according to UPI.

Since 2017, these hackers have stolen digital currency worth more than $1.2 billion, according to the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The attack on Ronin, the blockchain network of the online game Axie Infinity, in March of last year was the source of more over half of it.

North Korea stole more cryptocurrency assets in 2022 than in any other year, according to a draft U.N. report created by independent sanctions monitors. The document, which has not yet been made publicly available, references a variety of figures, including one that claims the virtual currency amassed by hackers working for Pyongyang over the investigated time was worth more than $1 billion.

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