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North Korea makes a lot of money hacking cryptocurrency platforms

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2 years ago

One major concern for western authorities for cryptocurrency regulation is the theft of funds by North Korean hackers. You may feel it's not significant but it is estimated that they gained about 2 billion dollars in their hacks.

That's a lot of money. Enough to fund their nuclear weapons program.

Pyongyang also “continued to enhance its nuclear and missile programmes although it did not conduct a nuclear test or ICBM (Intercontinental Ballistic Missile) launch,” said the report to the U.N. Security Council North Korea sanctions committee by independent experts monitoring compliance over the past six months.

“Democratic People’s Republic of Korea cyber actors, many operating under the direction of the Reconnaissance General Bureau, raise money for its WMD (weapons of mass destruction) programmes, with total proceeds to date estimated at up to two billion US dollars,” the report said. - Reuters

They also make money with ransomware attacks that encrypt files. Before cryptocurrencies became popular, they used to make "supernotes". These supernotes are nothing but counterfeit US dollar bills that were very similar to real notes.

Considering that very few new counterfeit notes are found in recent years, it is reasonable to conclude they are putting more resources into cyber hacks instead of making more fake bills.

That makes sense considering that cash is used less and less these days. Hence, attacking banks with electronic fund systems is far more profitable.

This demonstrates that North Korea definitely has the intellectual capability among its elite hackers who work on the behalf of the military.

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