Sanctioned Chinese Nationals Aided North Korean Crypto Hackers

Sanctioned Chinese Nationals Aided North Korean Crypto Hackers
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Treasury Department says it has sanctioned two Chinese nationals allegedly involved in crypto money laundering for North Korea cryptocurrency exchange hackers.
Several security experts say state-sponsored cybercrime syndicates from North Korea are behind many of the high-profile crypto exchange hacks especially those that targeted South Korean platforms.
U.S. government officials say North Korea is using proceeds from crypto cybercrime to fund its nuclear weapons program

According to a press release issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury on Monday (March 2, 2020), OFAC has slammed sanctions on two Chinese nationals for crypto money laundering activities.

The two Chinese nationals — Tian Yinyin and Li Jiadong allegedly helped funnel money for the Lazarus Group — a state-sponsored cybercrime syndicate from North Korea.

An excerpt from the report reads:

“Tian and Li received from DPRK-controlled accounts approximately $91 million stolen in an April 2018 hack of a cryptocurrency exchange (referred to hereinafter as “the exchange”), as well as an additional $9.5 million from a hack of another exchange. Tian and Li transferred the currency among addresses they held, obfuscating the origin of the funds.”

Both men allegedly helped move about $35.4 million in illicit crypto funds, with Tian reportedly using prepaid Apple iTunes gift card to launder $1.4 million of the proceeds from the hack.

According to OFAC, the stolen crypto funds came from an unknown crypto exchange hack in April 2018 which resulted in the theft of $250 million in virtual currency tokens at the time.

As a result of the sanctions, properties belonging to both men in the U.S. are now forfeit with OFAC announcing that it has added 20 new Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) addresses to its crypto sanctions list.

Initiating acceleration of solutions Apoorv Gupta (AG) is serial entrepreneur and known for growth hacking, brand management, scalability consulting. He is well conserved in fintech and blockchain space. Monitored and analysed both short and long-term growth plan for startups. Specialties: Investment analysis, competitive analysis, business development & growth marketing.

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