North Korea Believed to be Behind Hacking Attacks on Crypto-Currency Exchange in South

FILE PHOTO: A coin representing the bitcoin cryptocurrency is seen on computer circuit boards in this illustration picture, October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo

South Korea’s spy agency believes that North Korea is behind hacking attacks on a crypto-currency exchange in the South, sources say.

At least $7m (£5.25m) in digital money was stolen in the hacks – although the money is now said to have ballooned in value to $82.7m.

The thieves also stole the personal information of some 30,000 people.

They were trading the virtual currencies Bitcoin and Ethereum on the Bithumb crypto-currency exchange.

Based on recent trading volumes, Bithumb is South Korea’s biggest and one of the five largest in the world.

Analysts say North Korean hackers may have targeted crypto-currencies in order to evade the financial sanctions imposed as punishment for the North’s development of nuclear weapons.

This attack is said to date back to February, when a Bithumb employee’s home PC was targeted – though it was only discovered in June.

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