North Korea’s Hacker Attacks: 50% of Income from World Economy

North Korea is obtaining nearly half of its entire currency income through cyber attacks, with cryptocurrency theft being one of the primary methods used. A senior US official stated that cyber attacks by the North Korean regime have increased sharply since 2018, following the rapid development of the country’s nuclear and missile programs. The official expressed concern that such attacks are a significant source of financing for Pyongyang, accounting for roughly 50% of its foreign currency income. The US is working with South Korea and other partners to counteract this threat.

According to South Korean intelligence services, the DPRK has around 10,000 capable operatives who conduct financially motivated cyber attacks, with thousands of IT specialists traveling abroad using fake documents to carry out attacks. North Korean hackers have been accused of some of the largest cryptocurrency thefts in history, including $625 million from the Ronin Sky Mavis network in 2020 and $150 million in the same year from another source.

In addition to cryptocurrency theft, North Korean hackers have targeted the supply chains of companies such as the 3CX service supplier as part of their attempts to strike at crypto-streaks. The sophistication of their methods is reportedly increasing, with the UN estimating that as of 2019, North Korea had accumulated approximately $2 billion as a result of their attacks on various crypto services and traditional banks.

/Reports, release notes, official announcements.