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CoinsPaid Blames North Korean Hackers for $37 Million Cryptocurrency Heist

CoinsPaid says North Korean hacking group Lazarus is likely responsible for the recent theft of $37 million in cryptocurrency.

Cryptocurrency payments firm CoinsPaid says North Korean hacking group Lazarus is likely responsible for the theft of approximatively $37 million in cryptocurrency.

Based in Estonia, the company provides crypto services and personal wallets, allowing businesses to accept payments in cryptocurrency. It also offers a SaaS solution and an OTC trading platform.

Following downtime earlier this week, CoinsPaid announced that, on July 22, it fell victim to a sophisticated cyberattack that resulted in the theft of $37.3 million.

“As a result of a hybrid attack on our company, which involved elements of social engineering, aggressive bribery attempts of critical personnel, and attacks on numerous internet-accessible applications, the attackers managed to identify a vulnerable application that was not directly involved in service provision,” the company said on Thursday.

The vulnerability allowed the attackers to compromise CoinsPaid infrastructure supporting transactions and to modify the data of transactions, the company says.

CoinsPaid was able to identify the attack and address the vulnerability before the attackers could steal more funds, and says that client funds were not affected by the incident.

“We believe Lazarus expected the attack on CoinsPaid to be much more successful. In response to the attack, the company’s dedicated team of experts has worked tirelessly to fortify our systems and minimize the impact, leaving Lazarus with a record-low reward,” CoinsPaid said.

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The attack impacted the platform’s availability, as the company suspended automatic transactions and began moving the systems to new infrastructure. Systems have been restored to normal operations and processing of transactions has resumed, but CoinsPaid expects impact on its revenue following the incident.

Believed to be operating on behalf of the North Korean government, Lazarus Group has been blamed for multiple high-profile cryptocurrency thefts and is said to have stolen more than $1 billion in crypto assets over the past two years.

This year alone, Lazarus has been blamed for the $100 million Horizon Bridge heist, for the theft of $35 million in cryptocurrency from Atomic Wallet, and for the recent $23 million cryptocurrency heist at payment processor Alphapo.

Related: US Sanctions North Korean University for Training Hackers

Related: North Korea’s Lazarus Targets Energy Firms With Three RATs

Related: North Korea APT Lazarus Targeting Chemical Sector

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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