The North Korean government sees “investment opportunities” in cryptocurrencies. In fact, according to new reports that have come to light, Pyongyang has “hacked $ 1.7 billion in cryptocurrency from exchanges.”
According to Newsis and Chosun, citing statements by the US federal prosecutor, North Korean hackers “conspired with other money laundering criminals” to “steal cryptocurrencies” from at least three “virtual exchanges” for income.
Citing data from the American blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis and the South Korea-based Asan Institute for Political Studies (a leading international political think tank), reports indicate that at least three notable cases of cyberattacks on exchanges of Cryptocurrencies have been directly linked to North Korea. Namely, an invasion of a Slovenian platform in 2017, an invasion of Indonesia in 2018, and an invasion of New York in 2020.
South Korean and US categories
South Korean authorities have also accused Pyongyang of attacking the Bithumb national platform in 2017.
American experts have also blamed Pyongyang for a $ 281 million attack on KuCoin, with Seoul saying Pyongyang was behind two 2017 large-scale attacks on South Korean-based cryptocurrency exchange YouBit.
Seoul- and Washington-based experts claimed in 2018 that Pyongyang has trained talented young men, creating an elite of 20-30 “cyber-warriors,” instructing them on how to attack Western crypto targets with impunity.
However, while some have accused North Korea of using its supposedly illegal cryptocurrencies to pay for weapons programs, others are not so sure and argue that North Korea could have those funds as an investment.
Ashan Institute Principal Investigator Koch Myung-hyun said: Stolen cryptocurrency from a long-term investment perspective. “
For North Korea, cryptocurrency has become the only financial asset that can be acquired under severe financial penalties; Y [αναγνωρίζει την αξία του] for purposes related to tax evasion “.
However, North Korea is reported to be reluctant to keep its cryptocurrencies forever, with South Korean experts arguing that the “latest challenge North Korean hackers face” is liquidating “stolen cryptocurrencies.”
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