North Korea Steals Record-Breaking $1B in Crypto in 2022

• The United Nations recently released a report showing that North Korea stole more cryptocurrency in 2022 than any other year.
• The report states that North Korea used sophisticated cyber techniques to gain access to digital networks and steal valuable information.
• Estimates suggest that North Korean hackers have stolen at least $630 million, with other estimates putting the figure as high as $1 billion.

North Korea Stole Record-Breaking Amounts of Crypto in 2022

A new report by the United Nations revealed that North Korea stole more crypto in 2022 than it has in any other year. This news comes as no surprise given the nation’s long history of using hacking organizations such as Lazarus to initiate attacks against various regions around the world. According to the report, North Korean hackers have stolen at least $630 million worth of cryptocurrency assets, with some estimates putting this number as high as $1 billion.

North Korea Uses Sophisticated Cyber Techniques To Gain Access To Digital Networks

The UN report also stated that North Korea is using increasingly sophisticated cyber techniques to gain access to digital networks involved in cyber finance and steal information of potential value. The nation is believed to house several hacking organizations which are funded by its primary intelligence bureau and use malware and phishing attempts to target victims and generate revenue for its weapons programs. In one particular attack mentioned in the document, employees at specific small and medium-sized companies were contacted through LinkedIn before malicious payloads were delivered through continued communications over WhatsApp.

Sanctions Placed On „Tornado Mixer“ Used By North Korean Hackers

In September 2020, a mixer called Tornado was placed under sanctions by the US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). The mixer was allegedly being used by many of North Korea’s schemes which sought to launder money through cryptocurrency transactions. OFAC believes that this mixer was being operated by a sanctioned individual based out of Pyongyang who had been involved in cybercrime activities since 2019.

North Korea Denies Involvement In Any Cyberattacks

At present, North Korea is denying any involvement in cyberattacks against other countries or regions despite overwhelming evidence indicating otherwise. Despite this denial, it is clear from the UN’s report that there has been an increase in thefts involving virtual assets within the country over recent years, making tracking stolen funds more difficult for law enforcement agencies around the world.

Conclusion

It appears clear from both this latest UN report and past incidents involving sanctions on mixers used by North Korean hackers that there has been an increase in illicit activities related to cryptocurrencies within the country over recent years – activities which could be used to fund its nuclear program if not stopped soon enough by law enforcement agencies around the world.

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