UN Asserts that Crypto Finances North Korea’s Missile Program

According to the UN, North Korean cyberattackers stole cryptocurrency worth $50 million, which was then used to fund missile projects.
UN Asserts that Crypto Finances North Korea’s Missile Program

Investigators discovered that cyber-attackers stole more than $50 million (£37 million) in digital assets between 2020 and mid-2021.

The UN’s Findings

Per a BBC report, the controversial Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Missile Program has been funded with stolen crypto. The report cites an alleged United Nation’s Sanctions Committee investigation released last Friday. The entity claims that the Asian country has taken millions in digital assets across many years.

Classified as an “important revenue source” for North Korea’s dreaded nuclear and ballistic missile efforts, the UN concluded that in the past two years the country has stolen over $50 million in crypto. The fund came from attacks conducted on exchange platforms located in Europe, Asia, and North America.

In addition, the UN used data from on-chain security firm Chainalysis which claims North Korea hosts hacker operations that have successfully extracted $400 million in crypto during 2021 alone. The bad actors targeted “investment firms, centralized exchanges”, and operated with code exploits, malware, phishing scams, and “advanced social engineering”.

The North Korean hackers were able to attack these entities to connect their hot wallets and their funds into DPRK-controlled addresses, according to Chainalysis. After the country manages to get a hold on stolen funds, they proceed with a sophisticated laundering process.

Due to its sophistication, the security firm claims North Korean hackers have been given the classification of 2advanced persistent threats” (APTs). The report made special emphasis on “Lazarus Group”, a majority of cyber-attacks appears to be coming from these group of bad actors most notoriously their attacks on crypto exchange KuCoin and other platforms.

The number of hacks conducted by the Asian nation and its capacity to steal cryptocurrencies has seen a significant increase since 2018. At that time, the country and its hacking operations, according to Chainalysis, managed to steal almost $600 million in digital assets.

UN Asserts that Crypto Finances North Korea’s Missile Program

Is Cryptocurrency a Big Supporter For North Korea?

The UN estimates that North Korea has amassed as much as $2 billion for its nuclear development through “sophisticated cyber-attacks.” As a result, they come to the conclusion that digital assets are a tool employed by the rogue state to avoid international sanctions.

According to the United Nations, this has allowed the Asian nation to not only continue but also to accelerate its efforts. According to the research, the DPRK was able to conduct nine missile launches in January 2022. The following is what the international organization claimed:

DPRK demonstrated increased capabilities for rapid deployment, wide mobility (including at sea), and improved resilience of its missile forces.

According to additional information provided by Chainalysis, the rogue state has been decreasing its use of Bitcoin as its preferred cryptocurrency for carrying out cyber-attacks. As shown in the graph below, the DPRK’s share of stolen assets has shifted from Bitcoin to Ethereum and other altcoins.

UN Asserts that Crypto Finances North Korea’s Missile Program

North Korea uses a process known as mixing to launder stolen monies before cashing out on a crypto-to-fiat exchange market. Every dollar spent on North Korea’s nuclear development diverts resources away from the needs of North Koreans who have been trapped in a humanitarian disaster for decades.

BTC is currently trading around $43,339 on the daily chart, with strong momentum.

UN Asserts that Crypto Finances North Korea’s Missile Program