Have you been paying attention to the Bitcoin phenomenon? I'm sure that you've at least heard of it since it started hitting extremely high market prices recently.
If you're not sure what Bitcoin is, don't worry, many people don't. A Bitcoin is an electronic currency, a.k.a. cryptocurrency, that lives on the internet. There is no physical "coin" anywhere, just a string of numbers. It's based on an emerging tech called block-chain where the transactions are logged in a string of blocks, linked together to make a chain.
Since Bitcoin isn't an actual physical coin and lives on the internet, it's a prime target for cybercriminals to try and steal. Now, the government of North Korea is being accused of stealing billions worth of the cryptocurrency.
Is North Korea stealing Bitcoin?
Bitcoin prices going through the roof is all about speculation, supply and demand. Have you ever seen the year's hottest Christmas toy going for $1,000 dollars on eBay, when it retails at $15?
It's the same theory here, supply and demand. Tomorrow it could be worth zero, but until people decide it has no value/demand, it will be worth something.
That's what makes Bitcoin so lucrative for hackers to steal - its super high market rate. This week, the South Korean government accused the North Korean government of stealing Bitcoin worth billions of its currency, the won. A billion won is worth nearly $920,000 U.S.
A member of South Korea's parliamentary intelligence committee said, "North Korea sent emails that could hack into cryptocurrency exchanges and their customers' private information and stole (cryptocurrency) worth billions of won."
He went on to claim that North Korea has been constantly trying to hack into cryptocurrency exchanges to steal Bitcoin. It's speculated that a hacking group dubbed Lazarus is behind the stolen Bitcoin. The Lazarus Group is associated with the North Korean government and was accused of being behind last year's massive WannaCry ransomware attack.
Bitcoin is already a volatile investment and some feel its bubble could burst at any time. Attacks from hackers like this don't help matters. This piece of advice goes with any investment, don't invest what you can't afford to lose.
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