Japanese authorities warn of North Korean hackers as Lazarus attacks the country’s crypto assets.
The National Police Agency reported that Lazarus has carried out cyber attacks targeting the Japanese crypto-economy through phishing, according to The Japan News.
Cryptocurrency businesses in Japan are at risk
The Cybercrime Unit of the Japanese National Police Agency identified the Lazarus group as being behind a number of hacking incidents in the country, according to U Today.
In a public advisory with the Financial Services Agency, they have issued a warning to crypto-asset businesses, asking for vigilance amid the attacks.
According to Coin Telegraph, the agencies warn that Lazarus uses social engineering methods to carry out these hacks, impersonating company executives to exploit employees.
The statement said the cyberattack group resorted to spreading malicious links or attachments with malware to gain access to networks, reports Nippon News.
Japan News reports that internal systems of companies have been hacked and cryptocurrency stolen according to reports and investigation established in April this year.
According to Nippon News, they believe that the group often uses phishing strategies to obtain crypto funds because they are managed more loosely by companies.
The National Police Agency confirms that several attacks against Japanese digital asset firms have already been carried out, allegedly attributed to the same hackers.
In the public attribution, the Japanese government named the main attacker and disclosed information to the public as a tool to deter the attacks.
The statement adds that individuals and businesses should not download files from sources other than those that have been verified authentic, especially for crypto-asset applications.
Read more: North Korea’s Lazarus Hacking Group targets cryptocurrency, blockchain industries that use crypto apps
Lazarus is notorious for cyber hacking
U Today reports that North Korean hackers have been attacking Japanese businesses for several years now, and are allegedly being used by the government to steal crypto to finance the weapons.
Coin Telegraph writes that the Lazarus group is affiliated with the North Korea Reconnaissance General Bureau, a government-run intelligence group that has been targeting Southeast Asia.
Lazarus has been accused of being behind the $650 million Ronin Bridge exploit in March, and was proven to be the culprit in the $100 million Layer 1 blockchain Harmony attack.
This North Korean group is also believed to be involved in the 2017 WannaCry ransomware, and is involved in a ¥78 billion crypto asset case in the United States this year, the Japan Times writes.
Furthermore, sources have found that Lazarus is also responsible for the theft of ¥6.7 billion in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency from Zaif’s crypto exchange in 2018.
In addition, the National Police Agency also suspects that the disappearance of ¥3.5 billion worth of cryptocurrency from Bitpoint Japan in 2019 may be attributed to Lazarus, the Japan Times says.
With this information, police advise digital assets to install security software and implement multi-factor authentication to strengthen their security mechanisms.
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