Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


10:30 AM

Chinese Nationals Charged with Laundering $100M in Cryptocurrency

The two defendants allegedly laundered $100 million for the benefit of North Korean threat actors who stole the funds in 2018.

Chinese nationals Tian Yinyin and Li Jiadong have been charged with laundering more than $100 million in cryptocurrency, which was reportedly stolen by North Korean attackers in 2018.

The pleadings allege that in 2018, North Korean threat actors broke into a virtual currency exchange and stole nearly $250 million in cryptocurrency, which was laundered via hundreds of automated cryptocurrency transactions so law enforcement couldn't trace it. Co-conspirators bypassed exchanges' know-your-customer rules with doctored photos and false identification.

Between December 2017 and April 2019, Yinyin and Jiadong allegedly laundered over $100 million in virtual currency, most of which was from cryptocurrency hacks. They worked through independent and linked accounts and charged a fee for currency transmission services. Both did business in the US but never registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

The North Korean co-conspirators are also linked to the November 2019 theft of $48.5 million in virtual currency from a South Korean exchange. As with their previous attack, they allegedly laundered stolen funds through automated transactions and submitted fake photos and IDs.

A civil forfeiture complaint also unsealed today names 113 cryptocurrency accounts and addresses that the defendants and their unnamed accomplices used to launder funds. A portion of the funds have already been seized; the complaint seeks to recover the rest, the US Department of Justice reports.

The two-count indictment charges Yinyin and Jiadong with money-laundering conspiracy and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business. On March 2, the US Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control imposed sanctions on the defendants and several cryptocurrency addresses for their support for malicious activity linked to North Korean actors.

Read the full DoJ release here.    

Check out The Edge, Dark Reading's new section for features, threat data, and in-depth perspectives. Today's featured story: "How to Prevent an AWS Cloud Bucket Data Leak."

Dark Reading's Quick Hits delivers a brief synopsis and summary of the significance of breaking news events. For more information from the original source of the news item, please follow the link provided in this article. View Full Bio

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
I Smell a RAT! New Cybersecurity Threats for the Crypto Industry
David Trepp, Partner, IT Assurance with accounting and advisory firm BPM LLP,  7/9/2021
Attacks on Kaseya Servers Led to Ransomware in Less Than 2 Hours
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  7/7/2021
It's in the Game (but It Shouldn't Be)
Tal Memran, Cybersecurity Expert, CYE,  7/9/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
The State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
In this report learn how enterprises are building their incident response teams and processes, how they research potential compromises, how they respond to new breaches, and what tools and processes they use to remediate problems and improve their cyber defenses for the future.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
PUBLISHED: 2021-08-03
Hardcoded default root credentials exist on the ecobee3 lite device. This allows a threat actor to gain access to the password-protected bootloader environment through the serial console.
PUBLISHED: 2021-08-03
A NULL pointer dereference vulnerability exists on the ecobee3 lite device in the HomeKit Wireless Access Control setup process. A threat actor can exploit this vulnerability to cause a denial of service, forcing the device to reboot via a crafted HTTP request.
PUBLISHED: 2021-08-03
A heap-based buffer overflow vulnerability exists on the ecobee3 lite device in the HKProcessConfig function of the HomeKit Wireless Access Control setup process. A threat actor can exploit this vulnerability to force the device to connect to a SSID or cause a denial of service.
PUBLISHED: 2021-08-03
Command Injection in Open PLC Webserver v3 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via the "Hardware Layer Code Box" component on the "/hardware" page of the application.
PUBLISHED: 2021-08-03
Poddycast is a podcast app made with Electron. Prior to version 0.8.1, an attacker can create a podcast or episode with malicious characters and execute commands on the client machine. The application does not clean the HTML characters of the podcast information obtained from the Feed, which allows ...