DOJ files complaint to seize 280 cryptocurrency accounts tied to North Korean hackers

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The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit to seize 280 cryptocurrency accounts linked to North Korean hackers who stole cryptocurrencies worth millions of dollars.

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The DOJ’s complaint follows its March 2020 civil and criminal actions against North Korean hackers who stole $250 million worth of cryptocurrencies.

North Korean hackers laundered stolen cryptocurrencies using Chinese OTC traders

In the complaint, the DOJ alleged that a North Korean hacker breached a virtual currency exchange in July 2019 and stole more than $272,000 worth of alternative cryptocurrencies and tokens such as Proton Tokens, PlayGame tokens, and IHT Real Estate Protocol tokens.

Over the following months, the North Korean hacker allegedly laundered the funds through several intermediary addresses and other virtual currency exchanges.

In many instances, that person allegedly converted the tokens into Bitcoin, Tether, or other type cryptocurrencies to obscure the transaction. That scheme is called “chain hopping,” a sophisticated laundering technique to prevent law enforcement from tracing the funds.