North Korean Hackers Ramp up Malware Attacks Against Bitcoin Service Providers

There have been numerous attacks involving malware over the past few years. A growing number of these attacks are aimed at cryptocurrency users and service providers. According to Yonhap News, new statistics indicate things are slowly getting out of hand in this regard. A 370% increase in the frequency of malware and ransomware attacks is pretty worrisome, to say the very least. It is unclear how many of these attempts were orchestrated by North Korea, though.

Cryptocurrency-related Malware Attacks are on the Rise

Given the vast number of malware attacks made against cryptocurrency users and service providers over the years, it is not hard to see why this has become such a big problem. A lot of people have had funds stolen due to malware attacks of all kinds, with ransomware being one of the main culprits these days. However, it seems North Korean hackers – possibly state-sponsored – are targeting South Korean cryptocurrency companies as well.

A new report by the Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA) shows the number of malware attacks has increased by 370% compared to last year. All of this goes to show that hackers remain focused on trying to steal money, disrupt day-to-day operations, and give cryptocurrency a bad name. There have been thousands of allegations that Bitcoin is a perfect tool for cybercrime. That is not necessarily the case, but no one can deny these concepts have been entwined for quite some time.

That aside, the new report shows there have been 5,366 ransomware attacks between January and September of this year. That in itself is an alarming number, especially considering it only pertains to South Korea. This phenomenon has been a global problem, but it is evident things are escalating quickly in this part of the world. The ongoing standoff between North and South Korea will only lead to more harm unless something is done to thwart these attacks moving forward.

Coming up with viable long-term solutions will not be easy whatsoever. In fact, hackers have stepped up their game in attacking South Korean Bitcoin exchanges earlier this year. July and August were particularly terrible months in this regard, as malicious software was discovered on multiple in-house desktop systems. Bitcoin continues to attract a lot of attention these days, but it is not always positive. Criminals love themselves some Bitcoin, despite the currency clearly lacking in privacy and anonymity features right now.

According to KISA, the number of attacks on Bitcoin service providers and other online services will only increase from here on out. North Korean hackers are notorious for their vicious attacks against South Korean infrastructure over the past few years. Moreover, the number of state-sponsored hacker collectives is still pretty large. It is more than likely that things will continue to head in the wrong direction for some time to come.

For the time being, it remains unclear how many bitcoins have been stolen due to these malware attacks. It is evident a lot of damage has been done, but KISA has not provided any specifics so far. Attacks like these occur all over the world, unfortunately, and we have seen quite a few people lose Bitcoin as a result. Until people and companies start taking this threat more seriously, things will only continue to deteriorate.