As the digital world continues to evolve, so does cyber crime. According to a recent United Nations report, North Korea has been linked to stealing massive amounts of crypto assets in 2022, making it one of the most active nations conducting state-sponsored cyber security breaches. The UN report reveals that North Korea has quickly become a major player in the cryptocurrency market and raises concerns about the consequences this could have on global financial security.
North Korea Stole Record Amount of Crypto Assets in 2022, UN Report Unveils
A new United Nations report has revealed that North Korea successfully stole a record amount of cryptocurrency in 2022. The UN Security Council found that the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) managed to steal between $316 and $2 billion worth of cryptocurrencies from exchanges, wallets, miners, trading platforms and other digital asset investors. This is the highest figure recorded since the country began its cyber-hacking campaign at the beginning of 2018.
The report also highlighted several techniques used by North Korean hackers to obtain digital assets with minimal risk. These include targeting weak passwords and exploiting vulnerabilities in popular hardware or software wallets, creating sophisticated phishing campaigns to obtain private keys or secretly mining cryptocurrencies on unsuspecting victims’ devices using malware. Other tactics employed were launching denial-of-service attacks against exchange websites and redirecting incoming payments from legitimate users to accounts controlled by North Korean agents.
Furthermore, according to numerous sources familiar with the case, Pyongyang was able to launder their stolen funds through foreign entities operating in countries such as China, Russia and Turkey. Additionally, some experts have suspected that certain individuals within these countries may be complicit in helping North Korea circumvent international sanctions imposed on them for its nuclear weapons program.
Given that cryptocurrencies are immune from regulation, it is particularly difficult for governments or international bodies like the UN Security Council to accurately track who owns what coins and where they come from. As such tools become more advanced however, it is increasingly likely that measures can be put into place which will make it harder for North Korea or any other rogue nation state to profit off illegal activities involving digital assets like Bitcoin or Ethereum going forward.
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