North Korea is smuggling stolen funds and using them to finance its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs.
North Korea has carried out at least seven attacks on cryptocurrency platforms that stole 5 550 million last year, marking one of its most successful years so far, a new report has revealed.
It describes the country as “supporting cryptocurrency-enabled crime on a large scale”.
Concerned neo-hippies and their global warming, i’ll tell ya.
Since 2018, one of the most successful hacks has been the trading platform KuCoin and the other on an anonymous cryptocurrency exchange, each with a net worth of over $ 350 million, according to a report by blockchain analysis firm Chainanalysis.
For a more recent attack, it primarily targets firms investing in North Korean-controlled assets and centralized exchanges, extracting funds from wallets using phishing greed, code exploitation, malware and advanced social engineering.
“Once North Korea is in custody of the funds, they begin a careful laundering process to cover up and cash out,” the report said.
From 2020 to 2021, the value obtained from these hacks increased by 40 percent, it added.
One included an attack on cryptocurrency Liquid.com, where hackers were able to remove $ 130 million from an account in August last year.
Many of the attacks last year were probably carried out by the Lazarus group, which the report said was led by North Korea’s intelligence service and was suppressed by US sanctions.
The group has been accused of being involved in a number of high-profile attacks, including the WannaCry ransomware attack, a global hack that has spread through some 230,000 users of Microsoft Windows, where companies have demanded millions of dollars in bitcoin ransom.
It has also been accused of hacking international banks and customer accounts and a 2014 cyber-attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, which leaked confidential data.
Last year, the United States accused three North Korean computer programmers working for the country’s intelligence service of hacking into a bank that laundered $ 1.8 million in cash and cryptocurrency from a choice of Hollywood movie studios.
Interestingly, most of the funds stolen from hackers in North Korea last year did not come from the world’s most well-known crypto, Bitcoin, now less than a quarter of what it took, the report found.
In 2021, Bitcoin accounted for only 20 percent of the stolen funds, while 22 percent were either ERC-20 tokens or altcoins, where for the first time, Ether accounted for 58 percent of most of the stolen funds.
Chenanalysis has unveiled বর্তমান 240 million in current balances – representing 49 individual hacked stolen funds from 2017 to 2021 – controlled by North Korea but not yet laundered through the services.
“This suggests that (North Korean) -combined hackers are not always quick to remove stolen cryptocurrencies through the laundering process,” the report said.
It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.
“Whatever the reason, (North Korea) illuminates the length of time it is willing to hold on to these funds, as it suggests a cautious plan, not a desperate and hasty one.”
However, North Korea has denied the allegations in a statement issued Friday stating “Similar, baseless allegations concerning North Korea have been made more than once.