North Korea reportedly stole an unprecedented amount of crypto assets in 2022 as the country continues to pursue its nuclear program.
According to Reuters, a confidential report submitted by independent sanctions agencies to a United Nations security council committee estimates that North Korea-linked hackers stole $630 million in cryptocurrency last year.
The amount is based on information from U.N. member states and cybersecurity firms.
“A higher value of cryptocurrency assets was stolen by DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] actors in 2022 than in any previous year.
The variation in USD value of cryptocurrency in recent months is likely to have affected these estimates, but both show that 2022 was a record-breaking year for DPRK (North Korea) virtual asset theft.”
The report says the attacks targeted foreign aerospace and defense companies and were carried out by groups controlled by the nation’s primary intelligence agency, the Reconnaissance General Bureau.
The groups include Lazarus, which is implicated in the WannaCry attacks and the HOlyGhOst ransomware gang, which targets small businesses in various countries.
“These actors continued illicitly to target victims to generate revenue and solicit information of value to the DPRK including its weapons programs.
Initial contacts with individuals were made via LinkedIn, and once a level of trust with the targets was established, malicious payloads were delivered through continued communications over WhatsApp.”
Experts at the U.N. say North Korea relies on cyber attacks to finance its nuclear and missile programs. They say that Pyongyang continues to produce nuclear fissile materials and launched at least 73 ballistic missiles last year.Don't Miss a Beat – Subscribe to get crypto email alerts delivered directly to your inbox
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