FBI seized $500K in ransom crypto payments from North Korean hackers and also the agency said that the blockchain analysis was what helped them to recover the stolen crypto so let’s read more today in our latest cryptocurrency news.
The US Justice Department and the FBI managed to thwart the attempts by the North Koran state hackers to cripple a US hospital and seized $500,000 in crypto and ransom payments in the process. In a Tuesday statement, the DOJ Deputy Attorney General Lisa O Monaco said that the North Korean hackers hacked a Kansas hospital back in 2021 and demanded a ransom while also threatening to cripple the servers of the hospital if the demands were not met.
The hospital’s staff paid the ransom after the criminals threatened to double the amount in 48 hours and the DOJ statement also didn’t specify whether the ransom payment was paid in crypto. Monaco added:
“In that moment, the hospital’s leadership faced an impossible choice—give in to the ransom demand or cripple the ability of doctors and nurses to provide critical care. But they also notified the FBI, which was the right thing to do for themselves and for future victims.”
State-sponsored hackers from North Kora are up to no good it seems. January reports show that the hackers stole $400 million in BTC and ETH and in April, the US government released an advisory on the illicit activities in the crypto space. Monaco’s statement added that the DOJ prosecutors and the FBI seized $500K after becoming able to trace the actions of the hackers by analyzing public data that was kept on the blockchain and showing where the criminals kept the stolen funds. It turned out that they kept the funds in accounts of China-based money launderers that help North Korean hackers turn crypto into cash.
US authorities used the same tactics back when they recovered the BTC stolen from the 2021 Colonial pipeline attack. In the search, they picked up a number of payments including another hospital in Colorado as well as stolen crypto that reached half a million dollars. The DOJ didn’t specify which crypto the hackers stashed but the attackers often collect it in either BTC or privacy coins. Monaco added that the authorities were able to seize the assets:
“And today, we have made public the seizure of those ransom payments, and we are returning the stolen funds to the victims.”
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