The crypto community has taken to bombarding North Korean leader Kim Jong-un with a series of memes. The meme attack comes in response to North Korea launching a series of cyber attacks on crypto exchanges in 2022.
The crypto community, which is popular for its sense of humor, has therefore struck back at a time when we have seen two major hacks unfold in the span of a week. First, BNB Chain lost $500 million drain in a hack. Then, Solana-based DeFi exchange Mango Market’s took a hit worth $100 million in an exploit.
The attacks that took place earlier this year were launched by the Southeast Asian nation to fund its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Following the exploits, North Korea deep dived into illicit activities using crypto—a fact that came to light are its multiple job and phishing scams were unveiled.
The job scams involve North Korean scammers applying for jobs in the crypto industry, by impersonating real people. They also spy and sometimes exploit these workplaces. Some even use their pay to fund North Korea’s nuclear program.
Phishing scams were also rife. In March this year, the most well-known hack came to light. North Korea-backed hacking collective Lazarus Group stole $600 million from Axie Infinity’s blockchain, Ronin. The hackers would regularly send out job offers with spyware to Axie Infinity’s engineers. When one of the engineers opened one such offer, the North Korean hackers got access to Axie’s systems, helping them to steal hundreds of millions from the platform.
The crypto humour is not all just about fun and games though. It is a political statement of sorts because the huge sums of money being pumped in by the hackers has real-world implications. North Korea’s updated nuclear policy gives the nation power to execute a nuclear strike “automatically” and “immediately to destroy hostile forces” when another country poses an imminent threat to it.
The US Senate recently even submitted a North Korea policy oversight bill, further seeking sanctions against the region.