North Korea Hackers Stole $600 Million in Crypto in 2023

Azeez Mustapha


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A recent report by blockchain analytics firm TRM Labs uncovered a significant decline in cryptocurrency theft orchestrated by North Korean hackers in 2023.

The findings, released earlier today, revealed that these cybercriminals managed to pilfer approximately $600 million worth of cryptocurrency, marking a notable 30% reduction from their exploits in 2022, when it took around $850 million.

Despite this decrease, the report highlights the persistent threat posed by North Korean hackers, who have amassed a staggering $3 billion from crypto projects since 2018.

Trend of hacks in the crypto industry
Image: TRM Labs

Why Did the Loot by North Korea Hackers Drop In 2023?

Ari Redbord, the Head of Legal and Government Affairs at TRM Labs, told Coindesk that several factors contributed to the decrease in stolen funds in 2023. These include a decline in major hacks, successful law enforcement interventions, improved cybersecurity controls, and the inherent price volatility within the cryptocurrency market.

Despite the drop in heists, Redbord emphasized that North Korean hackers remain a formidable challenge to the crypto ecosystem.

Their attacks are characterized by unprecedented speed and scale, often utilizing sophisticated social engineering techniques. These techniques involve tricking users into unwittingly surrendering their private keys or providing access to their digital wallets.

Screenshot from CoinDesk on the incessant crypto hacks
Image: CoinDesk

TRM Labs Cautions Crypto Community

In response to these ongoing threats, TRM Labs has issued a stern call to the crypto community. They urge the implementation of enhanced cyber defenses and emphasize the need for collaborative efforts with regulators and law enforcement agencies.

The objective is to collectively combat the illicit activities of North Korea and other malicious actors in the cryptocurrency space. The report serves as a stark reminder of the ever-present need for vigilance and proactive measures to ensure the security of the rapidly evolving digital financial landscape.

As the cryptocurrency landscape continues to evolve, TRM Labs stresses the importance of staying ahead of emerging threats and continuously improving security measures to safeguard against potential breaches.

The crypto community is encouraged to remain vigilant and work together to create a resilient and secure environment for digital assets.


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Azeez Mustapha

Azeez Mustapha is a trading professional, currency analyst, signals strategist, and funds manager with over ten years of experience within the financial field. As a blogger and finance author, he helps investors understand complex financial concepts, improve their investing skills, and learn how to manage their money.

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