North Korea Stole $304 Million in Cryptocurrency Exchange Hack: UN report

  • Our Bureau
  • 11:22 AM, February 10, 2021
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North Korea Stole $304 Million in Cryptocurrency Exchange Hack: UN report
North Korean cyber army. Image for representation only

State-sponsored North Korean hackers stole some $304 million worth of cryptocurrencies through cyber-attacks in mid-2020, a confidential UN report said.

France 24 said quoting AFP today that the report, compiled by a panel of experts monitoring sanctions on Pyongyang, the report said the country's "total theft of virtual assets from 2019 to November 2020 is valued at approximately $316.4 million", citing a UN member state.

The UN panel said it was investigating a September 2020 hack against a cryptocurrency exchange that resulted in $281 million worth of cryptocurrencies being stolen. A second cyberattack siphoned off $23 million a month later.

"Preliminary analysis, based on the attack vectors and subsequent efforts to launder the illicit proceeds strongly suggests links to the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea)," the report said.

In 2014, North Korea was accused of hacking into Sony Pictures Entertainment as revenge for "The Interview", a satirical film that mocked leader Kim.

The North is also blamed for a $81 million cyber-heist from the Bangladesh Central Bank, as well as the theft of $60 million from Taiwan's Far Eastern International Bank.

The North's hackers have allegedly stepped up campaigns to raise funds by attacking cryptocurrency exchanges as the value of bitcoin and other cybercurrencies soared.

They were blamed for the 2017 WannaCry global ransomware cyberattack, which infected some 300,000 computers in 150 nations encrypting user files and demanding hundreds of dollars from their owners for the keys to get them back.

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