Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

North Korean Hackers Breach US IT Company in Bid to Steal Crypto

JumpCloud, an IT management company, confirms North Korean hackers targeted its cryptocurrency clients, highlighting the industry’s vulnerability to sophisticated cyber threats.

Key Points

  • JumpCloud confirms North Korean hackers targeted its cryptocurrency clients, signaling a shift in hackers’ approach.
  • The attack is attributed to the “Labyrinth Chollima” group, showing North Korea’s growing cyber capabilities.
  • JumpCloud responds promptly, enhances security, and collaborates with partners to protect customers.
  • The incident highlights crypto industry vulnerability, emphasizing the need for strong security measures.

JumpCloud, an American IT management company based in Louisville, Colorado, recently confirmed a system breach by a North Korean government-backed hacking group. The breach, which occurred in late June 2023, targeted JumpCloud’s cryptocurrency company clients, marking a strategic shift in the hackers’ operations. This incident highlights the increasing threats faced by the cryptocurrency industry.

Change in Approach: Targeting Infrastructure Service Providers

JumpCloud, an identity and access management firm, is widely preferred by many crypto projects for its infrastructure services. Notably, Chiliz, a leading player in the crypto industry, has chosen JumpCloud as a Mobile Device Management Solution. With over 180,000 organizations and more than 5,000 paying customers, JumpCloud’s broad client base makes it an attractive target for hackers. Previously, North Korean cyber spies mainly focused on individual crypto companies, but this attack signifies a change in their approach. They are now targeting companies that can provide access to multiple sources of digital currencies. The exact number of affected companies remains unspecified.

Sophisticated Nation-State Sponsored Attack

In a blog post acknowledging the breach, JumpCloud attributed it to a “sophisticated nation-state sponsored threat actor.” However, specific details about the perpetrator or the affected clients were not disclosed. Cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike Holdings confirmed that “Labyrinth Chollima,” a notorious squad of North Korean hackers, was behind the breach. These hackers have a history of targeting cryptocurrency entities, making them a significant concern for the industry.

The JumpCloud intrusion is part of a series of recent breaches showcasing North Korea’s proficiency in “supply chain attacks.” Independent research by cybersecurity researcher Tom Hegel indicates that these attacks are a testament to North Korea’s growing capabilities in the cyber domain. Despite North Korea’s denial of involvement in digital currency heists, substantial evidence, including U.N. reports, contradicts these claims.

Response and Enhancements by JumpCloud

JumpCloud’s Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), Bob Phan, reported that the first signs of anomalous activity were detected on June 27, 2023. The activity was traced back to a spear-phishing campaign initiated by the threat actor on June 22, 2023. By July 5, 2023, JumpCloud discovered unusual activity in its commands framework for a small set of customers, prompting the resetting of all admin API keys and notification of affected customers. In response to the attack, JumpCloud has committed to enhancing its security measures to protect its customers from future threats. The company will also collaborate closely with government and industry partners to share information related to this threat.

End Point

The attack vector used by the unnamed state-backed hackers has been mitigated, thanks to JumpCloud’s swift response. Additionally, law enforcement agencies have been notified about the attack, ensuring that appropriate actions are taken to hold the hackers accountable.

As the cybersecurity landscape becomes increasingly challenging, incidents like these highlight the vulnerability of the cryptocurrency industry and the need for robust security measures to protect both companies and their clients.