September 8, 2023.
North Korean hackers, identified as the state-sponsored Lazarus Group, seized nearly $41 million in cryptocurrencies from the online casino and sports betting site Stake.com, prompting concerns that the funds may be directed toward enhancing the country’s nuclear weapons program. The FBI, which traced the hack to North Korea, noted that Lazarus Group has stolen over $200 million in cryptocurrencies in the past year. This cyber attack aligns with an apparent escalation in North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile initiatives. The timing of the hack, just before North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un’s anticipated meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, adds to concerns that the illicit funds could play a role in arms deals between the two nations. The stolen funds, including $16 million in Ether and various stable coins, highlight the sophisticated nature of the breach. Stake.com temporarily suspended deposits and withdrawals following the incident but has since resumed normal operations.