The North Korean state-sponsored hacking group Lazarus is believed to have stolen cryptocurrency from domestic crypto asset trading services in cyberattacks, the National Police Agency's commissioner general said Thursday.

The agency's new cybercrime investigation unit, established in April, has found that domestic operators were targeted by the group, and attacks are expected to continue, Yasuhiro Tsuyuki said in a regular press conference.

"We are concerned that individuals may be harmed as well, as transactions have been occurring between individuals and not limited to business operators," he said.

The Japanese government on Oct. 14 issued a warning to individual traders and crypto services regarding potential cyberattacks from Lazarus.

It was the first instance since the cybercrime unit was established that a country or organization believed to be involved in an attack was publicly disclosed and criticized in the hope it will deter or prevent further action.

Lazarus is believed to have stolen some $400 million worth of crypto assets in 2021, according to U.S. blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis. The company said last month it worked with law enforcement and industry organizations to seize over $30 million of cryptocurrencies stolen by North Korean-linked hackers.

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