• Norwegian authorities seized $5.9 million in cryptocurrency as part of an investigation into the Sky Mavis cyber attack in 2022.
• North Korea’s Reconnaissance General Bureau is believed to be behind the theft of up to $1 billion worth of crypto through its teams – Lazarus, Andariel, and Kimsuky.
• International authorities are setting a new standard for collaboration in the fight against cybercriminals by tracking down stolen assets to prevent them from being used for criminal activities.
Norwegian Authorities Seize NOK 60 Million
Norway’s economy crimes unit, Økokrim, recently seized a whopping NOK 60 million (or $5.9 million) in cryptocurrency as part of their ongoing investigation into the Sky Mavis cyber attack which saw a staggering $600 million worth of cryptocurrency stolen from Axie Infinity, the popular play-to-earn (P2E) gaming platform.
North Korean Involvement
According to a Feb. 2023 report, North Korea’s primary intelligence agency, the Reconnaissance General Bureau, has been behind the theft of up to $1 billion worth of crypto through its teams – Lazarus, Andariel and Kimsuky. The successful seizure of these funds puts a spanner in their laundering process and prevents them from using it for illegal activities such as funding nuclear weapons programs.
The Økokrim team partnered with FBI specialists to track down stolen assets via cryptocurrency transactions with hopes that they can make things right for victims of this hack by compensating them fully. This international collaboration is setting a new standard for tackling profit-driven cybercrime globally and serves as an example that countries need to work together on this issue across time zones if they want to win this battle against hackers and other criminals who use digital currencies or blockchain technology for malicious purposes.
Preventing Criminal Activities
Økokrim is also aiming to prevent criminals from using these stolen funds for nefarious activities by communicating with Sky Mavis directly so that victims get compensated accordingly. Marianne Bender, first states attorney at Økokrim emphasizes how important it is for global authorities to follow money on the blockchain when hackers attempt to outsmart them with advanced tactics like those employed by North Korea’s hacking group Lazarus.
The recent success achieved by Norway’s economy crimes unit shows how powerful international collaboration can be when it comes to fighting cybercrime and preventing criminals from profiting off their illicit deeds successfully – something which all countries should strive toward if they want any chance at winning against malicious actors involved in digital currency theft or other forms of blockchain related crime .