In recent days, a report published by the United Nations (UN) implied that North Korea, a nation with a mysterious and highly controversial government, was behind a hacking attack that, allegedly, netted for said country’s weapons program $2 billion. The attack was directed to banks and cryptocurrency exchanges, and the funds came via fiat currencies and crypto assets.
However, and per a Reuters report, the Asian nation denied any involvement in the hacking of the mentioned institutions, and did it adamantly. It accused a regular political adversary of the nation, the United States, for spreading the rumor.
Accusing the United States of America for Spreading Rumors
Per the Reuters report, which was published earlier in the week, a statement made by the National Coordination Committee of the DPRK for Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism pointed the finger towards America.
“Such a fabrication by the hostile forces is nothing but a sort of a nasty game aimed at tarnishing the image of our Republic and finding justification for sanctions and pressure campaign against the DPRK,” the mentioned institution explained through a spokesperson. KCNA, a local agency ran by the state, was the first to report the piece of news.
The UN report was researched and conducted by impartial, independent experts and presented to the organism’s Security Council North Korea sanctions committee around the end of July.
The Money was Laundered
According to the investigation, North Korea was accused of using “widespread and increasingly sophisticated” hacking attacks in order to gather approximately $2 billion. Purportedly, the money was laundered over the web after being obtained through the major breach.
Specialists are currently investigating “at least 35 reported instances of DPRK actors attacking financial institutions, cryptocurrency exchanges and mining activity designed to earn foreign currency.” These acts were reportedly perpetrated in 17 countries around the world.
It is important to note that numerous North Korean hackers and cybercriminals are currently performing their operations under the Reconnaissance General Bureau, which is a widely known intelligence agency in charge of managing clandestine operations.
Targeting Crypto Platforms
In this case, the United Nations reported that the hackers wanted to target cryptocurrency exchanges because collecting assets in the form of cryptocurrencies would make them harder to trace by the respective authorities investigating the events.
The specific words that could be read in the report were that North Korea was looking “to generate income in ways that are harder to trace and subject to less government oversight and regulation than the traditional banking sector.”
Lazarus, a widely known hacking association, is said to be working for the North Korean authorities as they aim to gain a hold on the digital space, cleanly or not. The group has been repeatedly linked with famous security breaches and hacking scandals in crypto-related platforms and also in traditional banks. Lazarus was the entity behind the $81 million hack of the Bangladesh Central Bank in 2016, for example.
By Andres Chavez