North Korean Hacking Group Lazarus Behind $54 Million Crypto Exchange Hack, Elliptic Finds

North Korean hacking group Lazarus is believed to be behind the $54 million hack of crypto exchange CoinEx, according to blockchain surveillance firm Elliptic. The group has been linked to five major crypto hacks in the past three months, stealing an estimated $240 million. This article discusses the details of the CoinEx hack and the involvement of Lazarus.

Posted 7 months ago in Security


Image: Hacker with a laptop stealing cryptocurrencies from a computer screen

Adding to the tally is the $54 million hack of crypto exchange CoinEx, which blockchain sleuths at Elliptic now believe Lazarus was likely behind.

“Elliptic analysis confirms that some of the funds stolen from CoinEx were sent to an address which was used by the Lazarus group to launder funds stolen from the , albeit on a different blockchain,” wrote Elliptic.

The FBI said last week that Lazarus was responsible for stealing $41 million in cryptocurrency from Stake. Elliptic's findings today corroborate those of on-chain sleuth ZachXBT, who on Wednesday said on Twitter that the CoinEx hacker had “accidentally connect their address” to the Stake hack.

“In light of this blockchain activity, and in the absence of information suggesting the CoinEx hack was conducted by any other threat group, Elliptic agrees that Lazarus Group should be suspected for the theft of funds from CoinEx,” researchers at the analytic firm said.

Other hacks in which Lazarus has been recently implicated include the crypto payments platform CoinsPaid in late June, and the crypto payment provider Alphapo in July. Elliptic noted that the group appears to be re-targeting centralized platforms as opposed to decentralized ones, possibly due to social engineering attacks being more feasible against such targets.

CoinEx put out an to hackers on Friday requesting that they contact the company either via email or over the blockchain to negotiate a bug bounty and return of funds.

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Last updated 9/15/2023, 8:10:10 PM

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