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UN Probes North Korea-linked Cyberattacks on Crypto Firms, Profits Totaling $3 Billion

The United Nations (UN) is reportedly probing hacking groups linked to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) for orchestrating cyberattacks on cryptocurrency firms over six years, amassing profits of approximately $3 billion.

As per a recent Reuters report citing unpublished UN documents, an independent sanction committee is overseeing the investigation into the DPRK-linked hacking groups.

The groups purportedly targeted 58 crypto-related firms to aid their weapon of mass destruction (WMD) development work between 2017 and 2023.

“The panel is investigating 58 suspected DPRK cyberattacks on cryptocurrency-related companies between 2017 and 2023, valued at approximately $3 billion, which reportedly help fund DPRK’s WMD development.”

The UN is reportedly expected to release a published report of its findings within the next two months.

In 2023, Chainalysis estimated that the hacking groups pilfered approximately £1 billion worth of crypto from 20 hacks.

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However, there was a notable decrease compared with 2022, when crypto losses from North Korea-linked exploits totalled £1.7 billion across 15 hacking incidents.

Blockchain intelligence firm TRM Labs foresees that this year will witness even more significant damage from hacking groups, as their attack methods are anticipated to advance beyond those of previous years.

“Despite notable advancements in cybersecurity among exchanges and increased international collaboration in tracking and recovering stolen funds, 2024 is likely to see further disruption from the world’s most prolific cyber-thief.”

Meanwhile, Cointelegraph recently reported that the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has cautioned that crypto is being misused in illicit economies developing in East and Southeast Asia.

It highlighted poorly regulated or illicit casinos and “pig-butchering” romance scams that have witnessed major growth in the Mekong region.

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Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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