U.S. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco‘s speech at Fordham University in New York today, Tuesday, June 19th 2022, said, The U.S. Justice Department has seized about $500,000 in ransom payments and cryptocurrencies from North Korean government-backed hackers.
The hacking has become constant as just recently, in March, the U.S. government-linked Lazarus Group, a North Korean state-sponsored hacker, to a $625million theft of cryptocurrency from the Ronin bridge.
U.S. officials believe the hackers either wrung the money from U.S.-based health care organizations or used the money to launder ransom payments.
Earlier this year, the FBI assembled a task force of cryptocurrency experts focusing on blockchain analysis and digital money seizures because of the hacking trends.
Monaco stated that last year, the North Korean hackers targeted medical providers in Kansas and Colorado, encrypting computer systems that operated key equipment. An unnamed medical provider in Kansas reported the hacker to the FBI, notifying the US government of their activities.
This complaint helped the FBI identify a new type of ransomware used by the North Koreans and allowed the bureau to seize ransom payments and cryptocurrencies from the China-based money launderers hired by the North Koreans. Monaco urged other U.S. organizations and companies to notify the FBI of similar incidents.