North Korea has always hogged the headlines – not only for its “habitual” firing of ballistic missiles (which irks Uncle Sam and his allies) – but also for its passion for (allegedly) stealing other countries’ crypto.
On Thursday, (Feb. 10), North Korea accused the US of stealing funds and committing underhanded cybercrime just days after the United Nations accused Pyongyang of conducting cyberattacks on crypto exchanges around the world.According to North Korean officials, the US is a “hacking king, a wire-tapping regime and an expert in covert theft.”
Refuting UN Crypto Theft Claims
Although the UN observers did not specifically cite the US, they alleged that the information was obtained from a “member nation” – and also made reference to data gathered by the American firm Chainalysis on alleged North Korean crypto raids.
According to South Korean news outlet EDaily, the North’s foreign ministry debunked UN monitors’ recent assertions that North Korean hackers harvested over $50 million between 2020 and mid-2021.
In a report last year, North Korea has hacked $1.8 billion worth of crypto from multiple exchanges around the globe.
Total crypto market cap at $1.97 trillion in the daily chart | Source: TradingView.com
In 2020, Kommersant reported that a hacking organization known as “Kimsuky” has taken advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic using so-called spear-phishing methods to steal top-secret information from Russian defense firms.
Kumsuki has also been linked to an attack, according to security firm Ahn Labs, that makes use of malicious Microsoft Word documents.
Citing Edward Snowden’s Revelations
The North Korean ministry alleged that claims of crypto theft constituted an “assault” on the country’s “sovereignty” – citing them as examples of “disgusting behavior” that the ministry would not condone.
It added that Washington is using humanity’s common virtual grounds “to achieve its hegemony objectives.”
Pyongyang also claimed that the confessions of American former computer intelligence consultant Edward Snowden — who revealed that US security agencies spied on their own people — substantiated all of this.
Experts in Seoul and Washington claimed in 2019 that Pyongyang had trained a group of at least 30 “elite cyber warriors” and directed them to infiltrate Western and Western-allied crypto targets with reckless abandon.
Meanwhile, Pyongyang is said to be not content to keep its crypto stash indefinitely, with South Korean experts claiming that the final obstacle confronting North Korean hackers is selling off their stolen cryptoassets.