U.S. agency issues warning about North Korean hacker group 'BeagleBoyz,' cites crypto exchange attacks

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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a warning this week about a North Korean hacker group known as "BeagleBoyz" which it blamed for attacks on financial institutions as well as "lucrative" cryptocurrency exchange attacks.

The notice, published by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency on Wednesday, provided a detailed analysis of the BeagleBoyz efforts, including a string of attacks on ATMs and a multi-year assault on the SWIFT banking network. Last summer, the United Nations published a report on North Korea's widespread hacking efforts, including its focus on SWIFT, resulting in the amassing of $2 billion in proceeds. 

While it did not provide a direct figure, CISA also blamed the BeagleBoyz group for "lucrative cryptocurrency thefts."

The notice went on to explain:

"In addition to robbing traditional financial institutions, the BeagleBoyz target cryptocurrency exchanges to steal large amounts of cryptocurrency, sometimes valued at hundreds of millions of dollars per incident. Cryptocurrency offers the BeagleBoyz an irreversible method of theft that can be converted into fiat currency because the permanent nature of cryptocurrency transfers do not allow for claw-back mechanisms."

Earlier this week, cybersecurity firm F-Secure issued a report linking the North Korean-tied hacking group Lazarus to an attack on a cryptocurrency company. The unnamed company was reportedly targeted via LinkedIn.

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