A United Nations report has said that hackers in North Korea stole over $300 million worth of cryptocurrency to help the government of the country pay for its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles programs. The report was compiled by a panel of experts that were monitoring sanctions placed on the Asian country.
According to the report, the hack lasted from 2019 to November 2020 and approximately $316.4 million was siphoned by these hackers. The report also highlighted that financial institutions and crypto exchanges were hacked to generate this revenue for the government.
The UN panel stated that it was investigating a 2020 hack of cryptocurrency exchange that resulted in $281 million worth of cryptocurrencies being stolen. A second attack happened later when $23 million was siphoned. The report highlighted that analysis of the attack vectors and the subsequent attempts to launder the proceeds strongly suggests links to the DPRK (North Korea). KuCoin exchange experienced a breach of its system around that same period.
North Koreans hackers have stepped up their hacking efforts in recent times so as to raise funds by attacking crypto exchanges especially since when the value of Bitcoin and other crypto assets soared. It has also been alleged that the country has been laundering its stolen crypto’s through brokers in China in order to acquire fiat currencies.
The country has faced several sanctions over its activities in nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes. The country has recorded rapid progress in this sector under leader Kim Jong Un.