North Korea has been known for a number of controversial reasons such as this dictatorship and also the reports of cyber attacks from the country which have believed to be in a bid to get around international sanctions that have been placed on the country and these attacks have included the hacking of crypto exchanges and the stealing of cryptocurrency.
However, a new report from August 13, 2019, sheds more light on the activities of North Korea as United Nations is currently investigating 35 attacks from North Korea across 17 countries and this report also states that $2 billion has been hacked by the nation this year in a bid to fund their weapons programs. These attacks have also been carried out through one of three main attack vectors and have targeted some countries more than others.
North Korea Attacks
According to the report, South Korea has seen the most attention from the cyber attacks as 10 of the attacks out of 35 were targeted towards South Korea. Other countries that received attention in these efforts were India, who suffered three attacks as well as other countries across Africa Central and South America Southeast Asia Middle East and Europe.
It has been suggested that a good portion of the country’s weapons program is being funded through various illegal activities including cyber attacks and a previous report stated that the country has a team of hackers who work tirelessly to perpetrate these crimes.
Among the crimes in question include hacks on the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) and on one occasion, a group went after an interbank employee from Chile through LinkedIn while another hack involved the installation of malware on an entire nation’s ATM system which led to 10,000 fraudulent cash distributions across 20 countries.
Cryptocurrency has also been a popular target by the country as Bithumb, a South Korean exchange, has seen at least four attacks in recent times and in 2018, an attack on unnamed exchange led to stolen funds being transferred through around 5,000 separate transactions and more funds routed to multiple countries before their conversions.
There have also been reports of cryptojacking which include installation of malware onto the computer of the victims which makes use of their processing power to mine cryptocurrency on behalf of the attackers. In one incident, the malware was designed to mine monero and send the proceeds to a server at Kim II-Sung University in Pyongyang.