US and Binance Seize $4.4M, Halt North Korean Crime

US and Binance Seize $4.4M, Halt North Korean Crime


Binance helps freeze $4.4M linked to North Korean cybercriminals who stole over $635M last year, funding ballistic missiles, while on-chain investigators aim to prevent bad actors from cashing out.

  • The Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) targets the DPRK.
  • Binance Crypto exchange helped freeze $4.4M tied to known North Korean cybercriminals.
  • North Korea’s regime stole over $635M a year ago, financing ballistic missiles.

The leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance Crypto exchange disclosed that they managed to trace and freeze $4.4 Million of funds tied to terrorist organizations connected to North Korea. Nonetheless, North Korea’s attackers were a pain in the rear end for numerous blockchain tech enthusiasts in 2022.

Reports by United States Treasury documents, these hacker groups, working for the totalitarian regime of supreme leader Kim Jong Un, have collectively stolen a whopping $635 Million throughout a record-breaking year of phishing hacks and scams for crypto.

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In addition of that, the United States Government reports that these illicit funds are usually used to finance the regime’s missile tests and other dangerous nuclear experiments.

On-Chain Sleuths to End Kim Jong Un’s Sinister Plans?

Although while the highly-trained North Korean specialists are being used as tools by their Government to finance more devastation weapons, on-chain investigators are doing their best to prevent the bad actors from cashing out. 

Nonetheless, internet detectives can use their expertise on the blockchain tech more thoroughly. The transparency lies in that any blockchain tech transaction can be traced back to the sender, as the registry is publicly accessible.

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Although while Binance’s Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao stated how the Binance Crypto exchange team previously retrieved the $5.8 Million from the infamous Axie Infinity hack a year ago, another $4.4 Million was traced through investigation of illicit IT working activities, which has been the go-to for North Korean attackers so far in 2023.

Reports by this tactic, North Korean cybercriminals use fake identification to get freelance jobs overseas, while most work opportunities are crypto-related. Posing as citizens of other countries, the North Korean fraudsters siphon the funds back to the Hermit Kingdom.

The other side

  • United States authorities claim these North Korean attackers are not solely based in North Korea.
  • Reports by the OFAC, the same people are involved in Lazarus-affiliated gangs in Russia and China.
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Why This Matters

Cybercrime has been on the boost since 2022, while North Korea is leading in stolen digital currency by far, with over $635 Million worth of cryptocurrency stolen last year.

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