Altcoin News: North Korea Steals Cryptocurrency
March 8, 2019, by Marko Vidrih on ALTCOIN MAGAZINE
According to a report prepared by the UN Security Council, hackers working under the patronage of the North Korean government are actively hacking into cryptocurrency exchanges, using stolen goods as a means of circumventing economic sanctions.
According to the NikkeiAsianReview, North Korea conducts cyber attacks on international financial institutions from 2015 to 2018. This is the first time the UN has published a report on the illegal activities of North Korea.
The government has stolen money through cyberattacks, creating a pool of illicit funds that has grown since 2016, the panel said. The attacks are believed to be conducted by a specialized corps within the North Korean military and are now an important part of North Korean government policy.
The country is under severe economic sanctions imposed because of its nuclear and missile programs. This affected the country’s ability to export coal, which led to a reduction in foreign exchange reserves.
The UN panel said virtual currencies “provide the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea with more ways to evade sanctions, given that they are harder to trace, can be laundered many times and are independent from government regulation.”
In addition, the report states that North Korea uses blockchain technology to avoid tracking financial transactions.
According to UN estimates, North Korea is suspected of conducting at least five successful attacks on Asian cryptocurrency exchanges from January 2017 to September 2018. The amount of possible theft may be $571 million.
As a result, the organization’s member states were encouraged to “enhance their ability to promote the reliable exchange of information on cyber attacks by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea with other governments and their own financial institutions,” in order to detect and prevent new attacks.
Author: Marko Vidrih
Image credit: asia.nikkei.com