North Korea Targets Crypto Exchanges to Fund Missile Programs: UN Report Reveals

North Korea stole more than $50 million in cryptocurrency between 2020 and mid-2021 to fund the country’s missile programmes, an excerpt of a United Nations report stated. - 2022-02-07T144320.641.jpg

The North Korean cyber-attacks targeted at least three cryptocurrency exchanges in North America, Europe and Asia.

The report findings – which were reportedly handed to the UN’s Security Council North Korea sanctions committee – added that these attacks have played a major role in funding Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

“According to a member state, 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,” the report stated.

According to Reuters, North Korea has long been banned from conducting nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches by the UN Security Council.

In 2019, the UN reported that North Korea had obtained an estimated $2 billion for missiles programmes using increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks.

The UN report was released following a similar report on North Korea earlier by blockchain security firm Chainalysis.

According to January 17, 2022, a report from Blockchain.News, citing Chainalysis, North Korean hacks on the cryptocurrency platforms jumped from four to seven extracting nearly $400 million worth of digital assets over the last year.

“From 2020 to 2021, the number of North Korean-linked hacks jumped to seven times from four, and the value extracted from these hacks grew by 40%,” the report stated, which was released on Thursday.

The report further added that the number of attacks was one of the most successful years on record.

Separately, various reports from February 2021 stated that the US charged three North Korean computer programmers with a massive hacking spree aimed at stealing more than $1.3 billion in fiat currency and cryptocurrency.

The cyberattacks affected companies from banks to Hollywood movie studios, the Department of Justice of the U.S. said.

Image source: Shutterstock


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