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Home / World / North Korea stealing millions in cyber attacks: UN

North Korea stealing millions in cyber attacks: UN

The cryptocurrency funds stolen by the DPRK cyber actors ‘go through a careful money laundering process in order to be cashed out’
Kim Jong-un
Kim Jong-un
File Photo

AP/PTI   |   United Nations   |   Published 08.02.22, 03:10 AM

North Korea is continuing to steal hundreds of millions of dollars from financial institutions and cryptocurrency firms and exchanges, illicit money that is an important source of funding for its nuclear and missile programmes, UN experts said in a report quoting cyber specialists.

The panel of experts said that according to an unnamed government, North Korean “cyber-actors stole more than $50 million between 2020 and mid-2021 from at least three cryptocurrency exchanges in North America, Europe and Asia, probably reflecting a shift to diversify its cybercrime operations”.

And the experts said in the report’s section on cyber activities obtained on Sunday by The Associated Press that an unidentified cybersecurity firm reported that in 2021 the North’s “cyber-actors stole a total of $400 million worth of cryptocurrency through seven intrusions into cryptocurrency exchanges and investment firms”.

These cyberattacks “made use of phishing lures, code exploits, malware, and advanced social engineering to siphon funds out of these organisations’ Internet-connected ‘hot’ wallets into DPRK-controlled addresses,” the panel said, using the initials of the country’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

The cryptocurrency funds stolen by the DPRK cyber actors “go through a careful money laundering process in order to be cashed out”, the panel of experts monitoring sanctions on North Korea said in the report to the UN Security Council.

A year ago, the panel quoted an unidentified country saying North Korea’s “total theft of virtual assets from 2019 to November 2020 is valued at approximately $316.4 million”.

In the executive summary of the new Security Council report, the experts said North Korea has continued to develop its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.



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