North Korea is going ahead with its nuclear and ballistic missile program with cyberattacks on crypto exchanges being an important source of revenue. A confidential UN report says the DPRK continues to develop its capability for the production of nuclear fissile materials.
Pyongyang continues to seek material, technology, and know-how, including cyber means and joint scientific research, for these programs overseas. The report highlights that the East Asian country has been subject to UN sanctions, which has been strengthened over the years by the Security Council, since 2006. The United Nations has noted a marked acceleration of missile testing by North Korea.
The latest report highlights cyberattacks, particularly on crypto exchanges as it considers digital assets as an important revenue source. As such, North Korean hackers hit financial institutions, crypto firms, and exchanges. The report revealed that between 2020 and mid-2021, DPRK cyberactors stole more than $50 million from at least three crypto exchanges in Europe, Asia, and North America.
Chainalysis has also highlighted North Korea’s seven attacks, getting away with nearly $400 million worth of cryptos, on cryptocurrency platforms in 2021. UN sanctions monitors, in 2019, said that the rogue state generated about $2 billion for its weapons of mass destruction program. It was able to do so through sophisticated cyberattacks.
With North Korea increasing cyberattacks on digital assets, most crypto exchanges in South Korea have ramped up their security networks.