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Just-In: Crypto Exchange Head Accused Of Leaking Secrets To North Korea

coingape.com 28 April 2022 12:35, UTC
Reading time: ~2 m

The head of a South Korean crypto exchange was reportedly indicted for allegedly leaking military secrets to a presumed North Korean agent.

Officials have so far declined to reveal the identity of the accused, only releasing his surname, Lee. The individual allegedly colluded with a military officer and leaked sensitive information to a North Korean agent.

The move comes amid growing tensions between the two Koreas, over Pyongyang’s stepping up of its nuclear testing. The country has also ramped up its anti-U.S. rhetoric, and carried out a series of missile tests this year.

Exchange head bribed military officer in crypto

According to South Korean news agency Yonhap, Lee approached a military captain last year and promised to compensate the officer in crypto if he provided confidential information. Lee then passed on the information to the supposed agent.

The officer provided Lee with login information for a military platform, for which they were compensated with crypto worth over 700 million won ($551,000).

Both Lee and the captain were indicted under the Nation Security Act. Authorities are currently searching for the presumed North Korean spy, Yonhap reported. It is also unclear what more information was leaked.

North Korean hackers target crypto firms

An infamous North Korean hacking group, called Lazarus, was linked to a record $620 million crypto heist earlier this year. The funds were stolen from popular play-to-earn game Axie Infinity.

The group has reportedly looted over $2 billion worth of cryptocurrency since 2017.

U.S. authorities recently warned cryptocurrency firms that the group was looking to launch more attacks, either through phishing or even malicious crypto applications.

North Korean groups have also been using malware to steal cryptocurrency.

These actors will likely continue exploiting vulnerabilities of cryptocurrency technology firms, gaming companies, and exchanges to generate and launder funds to support the North Korean regime.

The U.S. government said in a recent press release.

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