The US State Department has doubled the reward to $10 million for information that will help prevent cyber espionage, the theft of cryptocurrencies and critical information by North Korean hackers.
In February, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) released a report on the activities of North Korean hacker groups, which said that they had “transformed from a scattered gang of scammers into a skilled army of cybercriminals and foreign affiliates.” This army has become sophisticated methods to steal hundreds of millions of dollars worth of crypto assets and critical information.
Previously, Chainalysis, a research firm, linked North Korean hackers Lazarus Group to seven attacks targeting cryptocurrency platforms in 2021 in a study. More than $400 million worth of virtual assets were stolen during the attack.
CNAS and Chainalysis are backed by the US Cyber and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), which notes in its bulletin that the North Korean government “uses malicious cyber activity to gather intelligence, conduct attacks, and generate revenue.”
“North Korea routinely cyber-steals data from financial institutions and cryptocurrency exchanges around the world, stealing hundreds of millions of dollars, likely to fund government priorities such as nuclear and missile programs.” says in the CISA review.
Against this backdrop, the US State Department has announced a $10 million reward for any information that will help the government prevent cyber espionage, the theft of cryptocurrency and other critical information by North Korean hackers.
— Rewards for Justice (@RFJ_USA) July 26, 2022
“If you have information about any individuals associated with North Korean cyber hacker groups (such as Andariel, APT38, Bluenoroff, Guardians of Peace, Kimsuky, Lazarus Group) who, in violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Law, are involved in the attack critical U.S. infrastructure, you may be eligible for a reward,” the agency said in a statement.
Reward amount doubled exceeds an agency proposal published in March 2022 for similar information on the financial mechanisms used by government-sponsored and working on behalf of the North Korean government hacker groups.
In July, the US Department of Justice reported on a successful operation to confiscate about $500,000 in cryptocurrencies from North Korean hackers, which were obtained through ransomware attacks.