How North Korea became a mastermind of crypto cyber crime

Cryptocurrency theft has become one of the regime’s main sources of revenue and underlines the lack of regulation in the world of digital assets

The successful crypto heists illustrate North Korea’s growing sophistication as a malign cyber actor. PHOTO: AFP
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Created by a Vietnamese gaming studio, Axie Infinity offers players the chance to breed, trade and fight Pokemon-like cartoon monsters to earn cryptocurrencies including the game’s own “Smooth Love Potion” digital token. At one stage, it had more than a million active players.

But earlier this year, the network of blockchains that underpin the game’s virtual world was raided by a North Korean hacking syndicate, which made off with roughly US$620 million (S$853 million) in the ether cryptocurrency.

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