- North Korea has reportedly stolen $50 million in cryptocurrency between 2020 and mid-2021.
- The country has been using the stolen currency to fund its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
- The UN claims that North Korea is using stolen funds in order to bypass international sanctions.
A United Nations report stated that North Korea stole more than $50 million in cryptocurrency between 2020 and mid-2021 to fund its missile programs. The theft was done by the means of cyberattacks that targeted at least three cryptocurrency exchanges in North America, Europe, and Asia.
“According to a member state, North Korean cyber actors stole more than $50 million between 2020 and mid-2021 from at least three cryptocurrency exchanges in North America, Europe and Asia,”
The report added that North Korea’s cyberattacks are playing a major role in gaining funding for Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
The UN Security Council has long banned North Korea from conducting nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches. Despite that, the UN reported in 2019 that North Korea obtained an estimated $2 billion through intricate cyberattacks to fund their missile programs.
North Korea has still continued its development of nuclear and ballistic missile infrastructure despite the UN’s sanctions. Moreover, it has continued to seek material, technology, and intelligence overseas – including cyber means and joint scientific research.
A United Nations panel in charge of monitoring sanctions on North Korea accused Pyongyang of using stolen funds to avoid international sanctions. As a result, the country would be able to continue developing its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
The UN released the document following a similar report by security firm Chainalysis earlier this year. The report stated that North Korean hacks on cryptocurrency platforms have jumped from four to seven.
Additionally, Chainalysis reported that North Korea has extracted nearly $400 million worth of digital assets over the last year.