A crime of theft in the millions disturbs the world…and the actor is a “pariah state”

These illicit funds are an important source of financing for the country’s nuclear and missile program.

The United Nations panel of experts said an unnamed government reported North Korea theft of more than $50 million between 2020 and mid-2021 from at least 3 cryptocurrency exchanges in North America, Europe and Asia, reflecting a major shift in Pyongyang’s diversification of its cybercrime. .

In the report, a copy of which was obtained by the Associated Press on Sunday, the experts said an unknown cybersecurity firm said that in 2021 Korean cyber actors stole $400 million worth of cryptocurrency through seven raids on cryptocurrency exchanges and investment firms.

The commission said these cyber attacks took advantage of phishing and malware lures to withdraw funds from these Internet-connected organizations and transfer them to accounts controlled by North Korea.

The panel of experts, which monitors sanctions on North Korea, added in the report – submitted to the UN Security Council – that funds stolen by North Korean cyber actors “go through a delicate money-laundering process in order to be disbursed”.

“North Korea’s thefts from 2019 to November 2020 are estimated at $316.4 million,” the commission quoted an unannounced country as saying last year.

Experts said Korea has continued to develop its nuclear and missile programs. Despite no reported nuclear tests or intercontinental ballistic missile launches, North Korea has continued to develop its ability to produce nuclear fissile material, according to the panel.

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