Correct Answer : Option (B) - North Korea
North Korea-backed hackers stole $1.7bn (£1.4bn) of crypto in 2022, says blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis.
* This nearly quadruples the country's previous record for cryptocurrency theft - $429m in 2021.
* The loot also made up 44% of the $3.8bn stolen in crypto hacks last year, which the firm called "the biggest year ever for crypto hacking".
* Experts have said the country, facing heavy sanctions, is turning to crypto theft to fund its nuclear arsenal.
* North Korea has conducted six nuclear tests and analysts expect the seventh one 2023, as the country accelerates its nuclear weapons programme under leader Kim Jong-un. 2022, Pyongyang launched a record number of ballistic and other missiles. This is despite the country's struggling economy.
* "For context, North Korea's total exports in 2020 totalled $142m worth of goods, so it isn't a stretch to say that cryptocurrency hacking is a sizable chunk of the nation's economy," Chainalysis said in a report on Wednesday (1st Feb 2023).
* These hackers typically launder crypto through "mixers", which blend cryptocurrencies from various users to obfuscate the origins of the funds, the firm said.
* Other experts have also said that North Korea launders stolen crypto through brokers in China and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
* Last month, the FBI confirmed that North Korea-affiliated Lazarus Group was responsible for a $100m crypto heist on a blockchain network called Horizon bridge last year.
Overall, decentralised finance protocols, or DeFi, accounted for over 82% of cryptocurrency stolen in 2022..Source : BBC