February 29, 2024

South Korean authorities clamp down on cryptocurrency looters LeapRate

Reportedly, Haru Invest emphasised high-yield promises while it froze certain platform functions in June 2023. Around this time, the outfit also cut 100 jobs. The company cited issues with its partners as the reason why customers could not make deposits or withdrawals. Yonhap News described the company as a “rug pull” front for fraud, which typically offers crypto services and then disappears with customer funds. 

 Those arrested claimed to be making safe and diverse investments, but were allegedly stealing from their customers. Prosecutors said that these illegal activities took place from March 2020 to June 2023. As is the case globally, South Korean authorities keep a close eye on crypto-based businesses. 

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 The jobs of regulators and law enforcers are made difficult as cryptocurrency theft takes on many forms. Chainalysis data shows that cryptocurrency ransom attacks reached almost $1bn in losses in 2023. Achieved via malware, this type of looting uses ransomware to encrypt files and syphon money from crypto-based applications or digital storage spaces. 

 Chainalysis indicated that ransomware attacks are more prevalent than the crypto fraud committed by companies such as Haru Invest. It stated:

Major ransomware supply chain attacks were carried out … impacting companies ranging from the BBC to British Airways. Last year’s developments highlight the evolving nature of this cyber threat and its increasing impact on global institutions and security at large.

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