Get To Know Lazarus The Crypto Hacker Group That Is Being Hunted ExploredAugust 9, 2022
Get to know Lazarus the Crypto Hacker Group that is being Hunted
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Semutku.com Get to know Lazarus the Crypto Hacker Group that is being Hunted – In recent years, crypto transactions have grown very rapidly and have become very popular all over the world. The huge profit potential, plus the ease of access and technology used, make cryptocurrencies attractive to investors.
However, despite all the advantages they offer, crypto transactions still have a number of risks that should not be ignored, especially in terms of security.
Keep in mind that the cryptocurrency world is not well regulated, at least for now. Therefore, the protection of the financial authorities and the government remains very minimal. Cases of fraud and digital currency theft are frequent and cause some investors to lose their assets.
One of the cases that recently came to light was caused by a North Korean hacker group called Lazarus. As a result, a blockchain company based in California, United States, lost $100 million in cryptocurrency shares.
Who is the Lazarus Hacker Group?
Lazarus is one of a group of hackers suspected of being linked to the Kim Government. Not much information is circulating about this group, but its name has become famous online because it has been proven to be involved in several cybercrime cases from 2010 to 2021.
This group is also the cause of the WannaCry virus which has contaminated hundreds of thousands of computers in recent years.
Previously, Lazarus were only considered a criminal group, but now their status has changed to Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) depending on the type of threat, purpose and operational methods they use.
Some cybersecurity organizations even have their own nicknames for Lazarus, such as “hidden COBRA” from the United States intelligence community (IC) and “Zinc” from Microsoft.
The first crime that Lazarus launched was called “Operation Troy” and took place in 2009. The attack used Mydoom and Dozer malware to create a large-scale DDOS attack targeting the South Korean government in Seoul.
Since then, Lazarus has actively targeted other parties, including the large Sony Pictures company and several banks known as Tien Phong Bank in Vietnam and Bangladesh Bank.
Recently, Lazarus shares started to penetrate the cryptocurrency world. Given that Lazarus’ main motive is financial, the rapid growth of cryptocurrencies and NFTs certainly caught his eye.
Moreover, crypto transactions are mainly carried out anonymously over the Internet and across borders. Since 2018, there have been a number of reports of Lazarus attacks against crypto industry companies.
Some of the companies affected include Coinlink, Bithumb, Youbit and Nicehash. If they add up, their losses can run into the millions of US dollars.
Fake DeFi App
According to Kapersky research in 2021, Lazarus has submitted fake DeFi requests to various crypto companies. This is one of Lazarus’ tactics to spread malicious malware that can attack users’ other apps shortly after the DeFi wallet is running.
In other words, anyone who installs a fake application automatically introduces Lazarus Malware into their system.
Also, the fake app is a legitimate program called DeFi Wallet which is useful for managing cryptocurrency wallets. Meanwhile, the type of malware used is a full-featured backdoor, so hackers can control the victim’s system remotely.
Once accessed, hackers can easily delete files, collect important data, connect to specific IP addresses and communicate with C2 servers.
Money laundering case on Binance
In 2020, Lazarus committed a cryptocurrency theft against Eterbase, a Slovakia-based cryptocurrency trading platform. Eterbase’s weak security system led to the theft of $5.4 million by Lazarus.
Shortly after the funds were stolen, Lazarus immediately laundered money through a series of anonymous accounts that had been created on Binance.
The method used is actually quite simple. Using only encrypted email, Lazarus opened at least two dozen anonymous accounts on Binance. The stolen money is sent to the account, so they can obscure the traces of the stolen money and can disappear immediately before being caught.
In the cryptocurrency world, Binance is one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges with millions of users spread across the globe. However, Binance’s regulations still seem insufficient, allowing hacking groups like Lazarus to step in.
In fact, according to a Reuters report, Binance has processed more than $2.35 billion worth of illegally acquired crypto transactions in the 2017-2020 period.
Since 2021, Binance has been actively improving its security system by strengthening knowledge of customer requirements (KYC) so that laundering cases like the one experienced by Eterbase can be prevented.
Now, Binance is also paying special attention and even freezing crypto assets in anonymous accounts that are not clearly identified.
It can be concluded that Lazarus is not a hacker group that can be underestimated. Since the beginning of his involvement in the cryptocurrency world to date, Lazarus has managed to steal at least $2 billion in digital currency assets.
In fact, they have penetrated the security systems of leading exchanges like Binance. Therefore, it is important to always pay attention and be careful when taking crypto-related actions.