• North Korea has managed to steal more cryptocurrency last year than in previous years, according to a draft U.N. report.
• Cybercrime groups linked to North Korea have obtained crypto worth over $1 billion in 2022 alone.
• South Korean intelligence authorities believe that 10% of the total was extracted from accounts of South Korean companies and individuals.
UN Report Unveils North Korea Stole Record Amount of Crypto Assets in 2022
The regime in North Korea has managed to steal more cryptocurrency last year than in any other year, according to a draft United Nations (U.N.) report which is to be released by the end of this month or early March. The document, seen by Reuters and Nikkei Asia, reveals how the isolated country is raising funds through cyberattacks and circumvention of international restrictions.
Estimates Suggest DPRK Acquired Crypto Worth Over $1 Billion
The findings in the confidential U.N. report are based on information provided by U.N. member states and cybersecurity firms, with different estimates being quoted as its authors conclude that 2022 was a record-breaking year for crypto theft linked with Pyongyang’s Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). One estimate produced by South Korea suggests that hackers controlled by DPRK have acquired crypto worth $630 million during the studied period, while a cybersecurity company has assessed that the virtual money they obtained exceeded $1 billion.
10% Stolen From South Korean Accounts
Data compiled by Chainalysis also implies that North Korea-linked hackers have been particularly active last year, having stolen around $1.7 billion worth of coins; intelligence authorities reported that about 10% of this amount was taken from accounts belonging to South Korean companies and individuals who are likely unaware their funds were laundered and used for financing nuclear and missile development programs carried out within DPRK’s borders.
Crypto Theft Used as Financing Source
The independent sanctions monitors believe that higher value of cryptocurrency assets was stolen by DPRK actors in 2022 than any other period before it; such operations enable Pyongyang’s regime to evade international restrictions while also providing them with an extra source for financing their activities as well as providing an opportunity to launder money — all without being officially tracked or held accountable for these actions due to lack of global oversight when it comes down to digital assets ownership rights enforcement measures in place within most nations worldwide at this moment in time..
International Cooperation Needed To Stop Crypto Theft
This latest development further highlights need for greater international cooperation when it comes down tackling potential threats posed by malicious actors using cryptocurrencies as tool for illegal activities; while there is no single solution proposed just yet, increased focus on blockchain forensics combined with unified stance against illicit transactions should provide much needed support towards protecting financial networks worldwide — not just those located within borderlines established by each individual nation state..