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Chinese Bitcoin (BTC) Criminals Who Used Apple Gift Cards to Launder Crypto Indicted by U.S.

Mon, 03/02/2020 - 19:02
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Alex Dovbnya
The U.S. charges two Chinese nationals who were linked to North Korea's Lazarus Group with laundering crypto via Apple gift cards  
Chinese Bitcoin (BTC) Criminals Who Used Apple Gift Cards to Launder Crypto Indicted by U.S.
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Two Chinese cryptocurrency criminals, Li Jiadong and Tian Yinyin, were charged by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Their indictment marks the strongest attempt of the Trump administration to curb cryptocurrency crime in North Korea. 

“The United States will continue to protect the global financial system by holding accountable those who help North Korea engage in cyber-crime,” said Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Here’s How Much Bitcoin North Korea Amassed After Hacking Asian Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Laundering crypto with Apple gift cards    

Jiadong and Yinyin were trained to attack financial institutions as part of North Korea's Lazarus Group. The two alone were able to steal more than $100 mln by hacking two cryptocurrency exchanges.  

In total, Lazarus Group was able to steal $250 mln in 2018 by trickling one of the exchange's employees into downloading DPRK-attributed malware.  

Notably, Tian used Apple iTunes gift cards to transfer some of their ill-gotten coins.

From Denuclearization to Decentralization: International Blockchain Conference in North Korea Scheduled For October

North Korea's secret power 

According to a report issued by the U.S. Department of Treasury, crypto heists remains the main revenue source for the regime.     

As reported by U.Today, North Korean hackers target plenty of regions with Southeast Asia being its main target.

Despite the U.S. and countries publicly condemning its actions, the Hermit Kingdom continues to deny its involvement in the hacks and accuses the West of trying to tarnish its reputation. 

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About the author

Alex Dovbnya (aka AlexMorris) is a cryptocurrency expert, trader and journalist with extensive experience of covering everything related to the burgeoning industry — from price analysis to Blockchain disruption. Alex authored more than 1,000 stories for U.Today, CryptoComes and other fintech media outlets. He’s particularly interested in regulatory trends around the globe that are shaping the future of digital assets, can be contacted at