North Korea Using Crypto Mining to Fund Military; UN Investigations Underway

North Korea

Following its report naming North Korea as the brain behind several crypto cyberattacks, the United Nations has now begun an official investigation into the illicit activity.

The reported attacks are being investigated and considered as attempts to violate United Nations sanctions.

Global financial regulators will be dismayed that the targeted attacks on crypto exchanges and banks have circumvented market rules on the use of cryptocurrencies for money laundering and funding terrorism and will likely call on crypto exchanges to tighten up their security measures.

According to a report by the U.N. Security Council North Korea sanctions committee published about a week ago, North Korea has used "widespread and increasingly sophisticated" cryptocurrency hacks to collect roughly $2 billion.

The more detailed report was viewed by the AP, mentioned that neighboring countries of South Korea were significantly attacked, suffered from 10 North Korean attacks, India suffered from 3 cyberattacks followed by Bangladesh with 2 cyberattacks and Chile with 2 attacks.

SWIFT attacks were generally carried out "with bank employee computers and infrastructure accessed to send fraudulent messages and destroy evidence".

- And "mining of cryptocurrency as a source of funds for a professional branch of the military".

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It also said that cryptojacking attacks were traced back to North Korea.

It also discovered North Korea's successful evasion of sanctions on coal exports, imports of refined petroleum products and luxury items.

It's believed the cyberattacks were used to fund North Korea's weapons program. The U.S. and 25 other countries said North Korea exceeded the limit in the first four months of 2019.

Three major channels have been noted as being used by the North Korean group of hackers. As a result, it forced 10,000 cash distributions to individuals working for or on behalf of North Korea "across more than 20 countries in five hours".

The Committee further highlighted the incident of Bithumb- a South Korean based leading cryptocurrency exchange of the world, that was hacked for nearly 4 times. The third hack was executed in June a year ago, resulted in the exchange to lose $31 million, and the last hack took place on March 2019, the exchange lost $20 million in the attack.

It added that one report analyzed a piece of malware created to mine Monero and send the digital loot to servers located at Kim Il-sung University in Pyongyang.

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