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North Korean Hackers Cyber Breaches: Less Steals in 2023, Chainalysis Reports

North Korea-linked hacking groups stole less cryptocurrency in 2023 despite more attacks. Chainalysis predicts more sophisticated and diversified cyber attacks.

According to a recent report by blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis, hacking groups associated with North Korea stole less cryptocurrency in 2023 despite an increase in the number of cyber attacks and a diversification of their targets.

In 2022, North Korea-linked exploits resulted in the loss of $1.7 billion in cryptocurrency from 15 hacking incidents. However, in 2023, an estimated $1 billion was stolen from 20 hacks, indicating that while the number of attacks increased, the monetary value of stolen assets did not surpass that of the previous year.

Erin Plante, Vice President of Investigations at Chainalysis, predicts that North Korea-associated cyber attacks will continue to become more sophisticated and diverse. She noted that as security improvements have reduced illicit gains from decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols, North Korean hackers have shifted their focus to centralized services and wallets.

In 2023, phishing and social engineering emerged as the preferred methods for hackers. These are considered "age-old" techniques that can be mitigated through increased employee education and awareness about potential cyber threats.

Plante also recommended closer network monitoring due to the hackers' tendency to spend more time in networks. For protocols at risk of on-chain vulnerabilities, she suggested implementing systems that monitor on-chain activities. As for off-chain risk platforms, the VP advised reducing reliance on centralized products and services.

Overall, the report highlights the evolving tactics of North Korea-associated hacking groups and the need for increased vigilance and security measures to combat these threats.

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