In a shocking revelation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has identified the North Korean Lazarus Group as the mastermind behind the recent $41 million hack of crypto gambling site Stake. This notorious cybercrime organization has a long history of carrying out sophisticated attacks, and the FBI has linked them to over $200 million in stolen cryptocurrency in 2023 alone.
Stake, a popular crypto gambling platform offering casino games and sports betting, fell victim to a cyberattack on September 4. The hackers managed to drain over $41 million worth of cryptocurrency from the site’s hot wallets. However, the Stake team reassured users that only a small percentage of funds were obtained and that user funds would not be affected.
The FBI’s investigation into the attack on Stake has revealed that the Lazarus Group is a cybercrime organization closely associated with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, commonly known as North Korea. This group has gained notoriety for its involvement in various cyberattacks targeting both cryptocurrency platforms and other sectors.
The FBI disclosed the addresses where the stolen funds are currently held, which span across different networks such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, BNB Smart Chain, and Polygon. As a precautionary measure, the agency is urging all crypto protocols and businesses to review these addresses and avoid engaging in any transactions involving them. The FBI emphasizes the importance of vigilance to ensure that none of the stolen funds find their way back into the hands of the Lazarus Group.
The Lazarus Group has a track record of orchestrating high-profile attacks. In addition to the Stake hack, the FBI attributes the group to the Alphapo, CoinsPaid, and Atomic Wallet hacks, resulting in losses exceeding $200 million in 2023 alone. Alphapo, a prominent payment processor, experienced suspicious withdrawals amounting to over $65 million on July 23. CoinsPaid, another payments firm, fell victim to social engineering, resulting in losses of over $37 million in late July. Furthermore, users of Atomic Wallet suffered staggering losses of $100 million in June due to an unknown exploit.
With the Lazarus Group’s continued success in carrying out cyberattacks, it is crucial for both private sector entities and individuals involved in the crypto ecosystem to remain vigilant. The FBI advises businesses to refer to its previous Cyber Security Advisory on TraderTraitor and carefully scrutinize the blockchain data associated with the addresses linked to the Lazarus Group. By doing so, it becomes possible to detect and prevent any suspicious transactions with these addresses from occurring.
The $41 million hack of Stake serves as another wake-up call for the crypto industry. As cryptocurrency gains mainstream acceptance and attracts significant financial investments, the threat of cybercrime continues to loom. It is imperative to enhance security measures, employ robust defense systems, and foster partnerships between law enforcement agencies and crypto platforms to combat the ever-evolving tactics of malicious actors like the Lazarus Group.
The FBI’s identification of the North Korean Lazarus Group as responsible for the $41 million crypto hack on Stake underscores the pressing need for heightened security measures. By remaining vigilant and actively collaborating, the crypto industry can ensure a safer and more secure environment for all stakeholders.