Police investigations have pointed to North Korea as responsible for recent attempts to hack South Korea’s virtual currency exchanges, AFP reported on September 27.
They reached the conclusion after investigating attacks on dozens of email accounts of employees at four local bitcoin exchanges, according to Yonhap news agency.
Police said the North Korean hackers sent emails containing malware between July and August this year. The hackers were using “spearphishing” attacks targeting the personal email accounts of employees at the exchanges by pretending to be security authorities. As the hackers also targeted smartphones, it’s safe to assume they attempted to compromise devices used for two-factor authentication.
The emails were sent from a single IP address linked to previous North Korean hacking attempts against Seoul. A report by security researcher FireEye earlier this month said North Korean hackers had launched attacks on at least three South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges since May.
No computers were compromised and no digital currency was stolen in any of the cases, the report said.
South Korea is one of the world’s largest trading hubs for cryptocurrencies, with Seoul-based Bithumb ranking as the world’s largest exchange for virtual currency.