Norway’s crypto bust deals blow to North Korean hackers

Norway’s crypto bust deals blow to North Korean hackers

Norway’s economy crimes unit, Økokrim, just pulled off a digital heist of their own by seizing a whopping NOK 60 million (or $5.9 million) in cryptocurrency.

This breakthrough comes as part of their ongoing investigation into the Sky Mavis cyber attack in March 2022, which saw a staggering $600 million worth of cryptocurrency stolen from Axie Infinity, the popular play-to-earn (P2E) gaming platform. 

The successful seizure of the cryptocurrency has put a significant spanner in the works of the hackers’ laundering process, which is allegedly linked to Lazarus, a North-Korea based hacking group. 

Moreover, according to a Feb. 2023 report, North Korea’s primary intelligence agency, the Reconnaissance General Bureau, has been behind the theft of up to $1 billion worth of crypto through its teams – Lazarus, Andariel, and Kimsuky.

Collaboration across time zones

In a remarkable international collaboration, the Økokrim team partnered with FBI specialists to track stolen assets via cryptocurrency transactions. The aim is to prevent the funds from being used for criminal activities, a crucial move in the fight against profit-driven cybercrime.

Marianne Bender, the Økokrim first states attorney, has emphasized the importance of such global efforts to tackle the issue. 

She points out that “this case demonstrates that we have the skills to follow the money on the blockchain, even when criminals try to outsmart us with their advanced tactics.”

With this latest development, global authorities are setting a new standard for international collaboration in the fight against cybercriminals.

Preventing the use of stolen assets for criminal activities

Økokrim has plans to make things right for the Axie Infinity hack victims. The team is gearing up to communicate with Sky Mavis to ensure that the victims get compensated to the max.

But it’s not just a matter of money. Bender also shared some serious intel on the hackers behind the heist. She mentioned hackers are not just in it for the crypto. Instead, they’re looking to cash out and make some real-world investments. And that’s where things get a little spooky.

Bender revealed that the hackers could funnel the funds straight into North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. Yikes. That’s why tracking down cryptocurrency and stopping it before it’s too late is essential.

Continued collaboration

In a stunning victory for the good guys, Økokrim has given a virtual high-five to their American counterparts for their efforts in a recent case and suggested continued collaboration in the fight against the bad guys.

This joint operation was a resounding success and will send shockwaves through the seedy underbelly of the cybercrime world. 

The message is loud and clear: you may think you’re slick, but the long arm of the law is even slicker. So, all you would-be digital thieves out there, beware. The authorities are watching your every move.

So, if you’re one of the victims of the Axie Infinity hack, don’t lose hope. Økokrim’s got your back. And they’re not afraid to take down some cybercriminals while they’re at it.

Follow Us on Google News