North Korean hackers stole around $1.7 billion worth of cryptocurrency through cyberattacks on digital currency outlets last year, The Economist reported, quoting a study published this month by Chainalysis, a data firm based in New York.
The news outlet added that North Korea has developed creative ways to finance its missile programme despite being unable to feed its people, including by forging foreign currency, committing insurance fraud, and producing and selling weapons and illegal drugs. Cryptocurrency theft is a more creative source of income.
Although Pyongyang is subject to numerous international restrictions due to its development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, analysts claim the North has also bolstered its cyber capabilities with an army of thousands of skilled hackers who extract finances to fund the state’s weapons programs.
According to the BBC, North Korea has conducted six nuclear tests, and analysts expect the seventh one this year, as the country accelerates its nuclear weapons programme under leader Kim Jong-un. Last year, Pyongyang launched a record number of ballistic and other missiles. This is despite the country’s struggling economy.
In 2022, North Korea targeted the networks of global aerospace and defence businesses and stole more bitcoin assets than in any previous year, according to a currently classified United Nations analysis seen by Reuters.
“(North Korea) used increasingly sophisticated cyber techniques both to gain access to digital networks involved in cyber finance, and to steal information of potential value, including about its weapons programmes,” independent sanctions monitors reported to a UN Security Council committee.
The monitors have previously accused North Korea of using cyber attacks to help fund its nuclear and missile programs.
Post a comment”A higher value of cryptocurrency assets was stolen by DPRK actors in 2022 than in any previous year,” the monitors wrote in their report – submitted to the 15-member council’s North Korea sanctions committee on Friday – citing information from U.N. member states and cybersecurity firms.
Source : NDTV