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North Korea: cyberattacks, nuclear and missile programs. UN Security Council Report

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More cryptocurrency assets were stolen in North Korea in 2022 than in any previous year, a UN Security Council report said, citing information from member states and cybersecurity companies. The country is accused of using cyberattacks to help finance its nuclear and missile programs. The US warns that North Korea is ready to conduct its seventh nuclear test.

Security Council UN she informed that North Korea used increasingly sophisticated techniques to gain access to financial institution data and to steal information about weapons programs. North Korea has previously been accused of using cyberattacks to help finance its nuclear and missile programs.

Record level of theft

The UN Security Council report said, citing information from UN member states and cybersecurity firms, that more cryptocurrency assets were stolen in North Korea in 2022 than in any previous year. North Korea has denied allegations of hacking and cyberattacks.

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Sanctions monitors at the United Nations have provided estimates to South Korea that they are linked to North Korea hackers stole $630 million worth of virtual assets in 2022while a cybersecurity company estimated that North Korean cybercrime amounted to over $1 billion.

It was explained that the volatility of this valuation is related dollar exchange rate, but both figures show that 2022 was a record year for theft of virtual assets in North Korea. It was emphasized that the techniques used in cyberattacks have become more sophisticated, making it difficult to track stolen funds.

The report is expected to be released later this month or early March.

Contacts via LinkedIn and Whatsapp

It said most of the cyberattacks were carried out by groups controlled by North Korea’s main intelligence bureau. These groups included hacking teams tracked by the cybersecurity industry under the names Kimsuky, Lazarus Group, and Andariel. The report explained that they generated revenue, obtained information of value to North Korea, including weapons programs. They spread malware through various methods, including phishing. As an example, it was pointed out that one such campaign targeted employees of the organization in different countries, and initial contacts with them were established via LinkedIn and later via WhatsApp.

As early as 2019, the UN reported that North Korea had spent around $2 billion over several years on its weapons of mass destruction programs, using widespread and increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks.

North Korea sanctions

In the latest report, you can also read that North Korea continues to produce materials for nuclear purposes. At least 73 ballistic missiles were launched last year, including eight intercontinental ballistic missiles. United States have long warned that North Korea is ready to conduct a seventh nuclear test.

North Korea is banned from conducting nuclear tests and launching ballistic missiles by the Security Council. Since 2006, it has been subject to UN sanctions, which the Security Council has strengthened over the years. Against the backdrop of these sanctions, North Korea illegally imports refined oil and exports coal. An investigation into reports of munitions exports has also begun.

The US has accused the Russian Wagner Group of receiving weapons from North Korea to help bolster Russian forces in Ukraine. North Korea rejected the accusation, and Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin denied receiving weapons from North Korea.

Last May, China and Russia vetoed a US-led project to impose further UN sanctions on North Korea. These included an asset freeze for the Lazarus hacking group accused of cyberattacks on international banks and customer accounts, and cyberattacks on Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2014. The United States has linked North Korean hackers to the theft of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency related to the popular online game Axie Infinity.

In 2022, approximately $615 million was stolen.

Read also: The US wanted new sanctions against North Korea. China and Russia vetoed

Main photo source: Shutterstock



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