- Lazarus Group, linked to North Korea, reportedly responsible for the $54 million CoinEx hack.
- The same group likely targeted Stake.com, resulting in an FBI attribution.
- Lazarus’s spree includes $270 million stolen in various crypto hacks within 102 days.
Reportedly, the hacking collective known as the Lazarus Group, suspected of having ties to the North Korean government, has been implicated in the cyberattack that targeted CoinEx, a cryptocurrency exchange. This attribution comes from blockchain security experts SlowMist and on-chain investigator ZachXBT.
The wallets implicated in the draining of funds from CoinEx on September 12 were also linked to the theft of $41 million from Stake.com, a cryptocurrency casino. In both cases, the attackers managed to siphon off significant sums of digital assets from the exchanges‘ hot wallets.
It appears North Korea is also responsible for the $54M @coinexcom hack from yesterday after they accidentally connected their address to the $41M Stake hack on OP & Polygon.
— ZachXBT (@zachxbt) September 13, 2023
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has connected Lazarus to the exploit on Stake.com, indicating that the same group likely targeted CoinEx as well. On-chain data further reveals a network of addresses associated with the thefts on both CoinEx and Stake.com.
The cryptocurrency community became aware of a “security incident” affecting CoinEx’s hot wallets on Tuesday, September 12. Initial estimates put the losses at $27.8 million, but subsequent analysis suggests that the hackers made off with as much as $55 million in various cryptocurrencies.
The stolen funds from this hack were funneled through Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Tron (TRX), BNB Chain (BNB), Polygon (MATIC), Arbitrum (ARB), and six other blockchain networks.
CoinEx joins a growing list of cryptocurrency operators targeted by cyberattacks, with Lazarus being the primary suspect in several of these incidents. These hacks, which include exploits on CoinEx, Stake, CoinsPaid, Alphapo, and Atomic Wallet, all occurred within a 102-day timeframe, and Lazarus reportedly pilfered over $270 million during that period.
At this current pace, Lazarus stands to accumulate over $500 million in illicit gains from cryptocurrency hacks before the end of 2023. A previous Chainalysis report indicated that this hacker group had seized over $1 billion from digital asset investors and service providers in 2022.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author, or any people mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only, and they do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice. Investing in or trading cryptoassets comes with a risk of financial loss.