North Korean Crypto Attacks Investigated by the UN

UN investigating 35 North Korean cyberattacks in 17 countries

The Associated Press reported that the experts behind the unpublished report to the UN Security Council have called for increased sanctions - including the blocking of ships which provide petrol and diesel to North Korea.

India came next with three cyberattacks, while Bangladesh and Chile each had two attacks. Other countries including Vietnam, Nigeria, Kuwait, Liberia, South Africa, Slovenia, Costa Rica, Gambia, Guatemala, Tunisia, Malaysia and Malta, all suffered one attack each.

The intergovernmental organization is investigating 35 North Korea cyberattacks in 17 countries.

As well as "quasi-legitimate" mining operations, the report investigated 'crypto-jacking', whereby North Korean hackers infect computers with malware.

According to the report, the increasingly sophisticated attacks are "low risk but high yield", often requiring not much more than a laptop and internet connection.

The panel also said it obtained information that the Taesong Department Store in Pyongyang, which reopened in April and is selling luxury goods, is part of the Taesong Group which includes two entities under United Nations sanctions and was previously linked to procurement for North Korea's ballistic missile programs.

The committee had suggested imposing sanctions across 6 vessels of North Korea because they were avoiding sanctions and illicitly carrying shipping of refining petroleum-based items. However, the United States and other 25 nations mentioned that North Korea exceeded the import limit from January to April 2019.

The panel also recommended sanctions against the captain, owner, and parent company of the North Korean-flagged Wise Honest, which was detained by Indonesia in April 2018 with an illegal shipment of coal.

It's believed the cyberattacks were used to fund North Korea's weapons program.

The experts said they have requested information from Rwanda on a report that North Koreans are conducting special forces training at a military camp in Gabiro.

South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb was reportedly attacked at least four times, leading to a cumulative loss of over $50 million.

Due to its proximity, history, and number of crypto exchanges, South Korea was the country that suffered the most hacks, with at least 10 attacks recorded so far. The third hack was executed in June past year, resulted in the exchange to lose $31 million, and the last hack took place on March 2019, the exchange lost $20 million in the attack. It identified one instance where malware was used to mine Monero and send the mined tokens to servers at Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang.

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