Korean National Intelligence Agency (NIS) reportedly State-sponsored North Korean hackers have stolen $1.2 billion worth of crypto assets over the past five-and-a-half years, revealing North Korea is using those funds to fund its nuclear missile program. did.
NIS estimates that cybercriminals stole half of this amount (about $626 million) in 2022 alone. About $78 million in funds were stolen from South Korea, according to reports.
According to NIS, the Covid-19 pandemic has hit North Korea much more severely than all other countries in the country because the North Korean economy was already weakened by United Nations (UN) sanctions. The country has therefore turned to illegal activities such as cryptocurrency hacking so that it can provide funds to support its economy and nuclear programme.
The conclusion was drawn by the fact that North Korea conducted a record number of missile tests in 2022, despite deteriorating economic conditions.according to numbers Since November, the country has conducted 34 tests involving a total of 88 missiles.
Furthermore, NIS said it expects North Korea to intensify its attacks on South Korea in 2023, with a greater focus on stealing South Korea’s advanced technology and sensitive information.
NIS spokesperson Said:
“North Korea, which will enter its third year under its five-year economic development plan in 2023, is keen to steal key technologies and gather diplomatic and security intelligence to achieve its policy goals. It is expected that.”
Some experts have reportedly claimed that North Korea aims to use its military power to free itself from global sanctions.
North Korean hacker
North Korea’s reinvestment of stolen funds is no news to the world. A report submitted to the UN Security Council in February alleges that the country is using money stolen through cryptocurrency hacks to finance its nuclear missile program.
In March, a cybersecurity firm released a report proving that North Korea is using cryptocurrency hackers to raise money.
Additionally, a Chainalysis report in July revealed that North Korean hackers have significantly improved their activity in the second quarter of 2022.
other the study It also shows that the infamous Lazarus Group is the most prominent group and that North Korea leads cryptocurrency crime on a global scale. Lazarus targets cryptocurrency companies around the world and has been proven to be involved in major hacks such as the Harmony Horizon Bridge hack and Axie Infinity’s Ronin Network exploit.