TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -South Korea’s intelligence agency told lawmakers North Korean hackers could have been behind the $530 million theft of virtual coins from a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange last month, people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.
The people, who had knowledge of parliament’s intelligence committee proceedings, told Reuters the National Intelligence Service did not present evidence that North Korean hackers were responsible for one of the largest cryptocurrency heists in history but flagged it as a possibility.
Local media earlier on Tuesday reported the spy agency told the intelligence committee North Korean hackers had “probably” hacked into the Tokyo-based exchange.
One of the people who spoke to Reuters said that the spy agency said “it’s a possibility that North Korea was behind the theft.”
The person said the virtual coin market remains a likely target for North Korean hackers due to its sheer size and light regulation but that there was no firm evidence the North was responsible.
Last month, Coincheck, one of Japan’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges, said it had about 58 billion yen ($530 million) worth of NEM virtual coins stolen and that it would return 46.3 billion yen to investors who had lost funds.
The other person who spoke to Reuters said “it’s possible, but not a probable scenario backed by evidence” that North Korea was behind the theft.
Both people Reuters spoke to declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the issue. A spokesperson with the NIS declined to comment.