North Korean punks are at it again. A recent United Nations report revealed that North Korean hackers managed to stole $2 billion from cryptocurrency exchanges and banks. This report alleges that the money stolen will be used to fund a weapons program by North Korea.
According to news portal Coinnounce, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), has imposed severe sanctions on the rogue country. In a bid to evade those sanctions, the country is stealing money via cyberattacks to fund their weapons of mass destruction.
This is not the first time, the country has resorted to these methods. In December last year, we had reported that YouBit, a cryptocurrency exchange had to declare bankruptcy after their exchange got hacked in December 2017 and they had to put up this message on their website saying, “After the accident in April, we did our best to improve our security, recruitment and system maintenance. However, at 4:35 am, we lost our coins due to a hack.” The cyber attack was the second in line for the website, the previous taking place in April this year. The amount of asset lost at that time was 4000 bitcoins which is valued at $73 m (around 55 million pounds).
Although there was no official group who had taken responsibility for the attack, many suspected it to be North Korean hackers.
Soon after that, in March this year, when the UNSC had imposed sanctions, a local daily had suggested that North Korea reportedly has USD $670 million in crypto which it has been accumulating since 2015.
At the time, Ross Delston, a Washington-based attorney and expert witness specializing in anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT), and Lourdes Miranda, an independent financial intelligence analyst and financial crimes investigator saying, “DPRK can develop their own cryptocurrencies or use established cryptoassets like bitcoin.”
They had elaborated stating, that creating their own blockchain-based virtual currency “would facilitate their ability to open online accounts under the guise of a non-adversarial nation using anonymous communication to conceal the user’s locations and usage on the internet.”
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