North Korea is said to have stolen in large-scale cyber attacks, including Bitcoin, to finance armaments programs. Now there are new details from the United Nations report.
Bitcoin is said to stand next to other cryptocurrencies on the bag list of North Korean hackers. As we reported earlier, a United Nations (UN) report shows that North Korean hackers have stolen billions from Bitcoin Exchange hacks.
As the news magazine South China Morning Post reported , there are new details. So the North Korean hackers are not just looking for Bitcoin. Rather, the Kim Jong Un regime has evidently gained access to bank computers through the SWIFT banking system. In addition, North Korea also operated its own crypto-mining to mine Bitcoin & Co. itself.
South Korea most affected by North Korea Bitcoin hack
As the report goes on to say, South Korea was hit hardest by the Bitcoin hackers with a total of ten attacks. In addition, 16 other countries were targeted for cyberattacks:
- Bangladesh (two attacks)
- Chile (two attacks)
- Costa Rica
- India (three attacks)
- South Africa
Armed only with laptop and Internet access, they have been able to pocket billions in billions with little effort. The attackers were thus able to penetrate into an ATM system of one of the (unnamed) victim countries and install malware there. This allowed them to influence how money was transferred. They are said to have transferred money to people in more than 20 countries working with North Korea in 10,000 transactions.
As far as Bitcoin and Co. are concerned, hackers seem to have been bogged down in the lack of technical infrastructure at various crypto-trading venues. In such cases, the dilemma of cryptocurrencies is often revealed: while Bitcoin itself is based on an almost unbreakable blockchain, the security measures of the exchanges themselves often leave much to be desired.
Bithumb among the affected Bitcoin exchanges
After all, the past attacks on Bithumb are suspected of being from North Korea. In June 2018 over 30 million US dollars lost in BTC. In March of this year, there were further attacks on the technological infrastructure of the Bitcoin exchange. Here, too, cryptocurrencies in the tens of millions were lost.
North Korea has long been in the sights of the UN
The UN has not targeted North Korea for the first time. In March, for example, she had expressed doubts about the effectiveness of the sanctions against the regime. Because Kim Jong Un had traveled with a fleet of luxury cars to meet with US President Donald Trump:
The North Koreans get what they want. They get the best when they need it.
Hugh Griffiths, coordinator of the Sanctions Monitoring Expert Committee, told the news agency AFP. It was also known at that time that despite international sanctions, North Korea was able to export coal and import oil. The imposed maximum limit of 500,000 barrels of petroleum products had already exhausted the Kim regime in the first quarter of 2019.
In the current case, the UN is now promoting investigations against Bitcoin hackers from North Korea. Among other things, this is about uncovering cases of cryptojacking. Here, a malicious software is introduced into computers, which independently “scrub” cryptocurrencies. According to information from the South China Morning Post, there is supposed to be a case here, which scrape the private cryptocurrency Monero (XRM) and send it to Kim Il-sung University in Pyongyang.
Image via Shutterstock