BTC Wires

Is North Korea Behind Stealing 700 Million USD In Crypto?

Many who keep up with the crypto industry might know, that 2018 was marred by stories of North Korean hacking groups, such as Lazarus, who  initiated cyberattacks on its southern neighbor in an effort to garner bitcoins andaother such digital assets for its growing collection. Recent reportsrindicate that this digital moneyNorth Korea which has accumulated is worth an estimated $700 million USD.

A British think tank known as the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) has released a report on Monday claiming that North Korea was the one who carried on crypto-based cyberattacks on several countries including the United States, South Korea, Great Britain and Japan. It is alleged that they have stolen approximately $545 million and $735 million from an assortment of crypto funds.

RUSI notes that the hacking organization was spawned, in part, by cryptocurrency exchanges adopting hardcore legislative tactics against Pyongyang – North Korea’s capital city – and neighboring regions. Among the platforms which have allegedly fallen victim to Wanna Cry are South Korea’s You Bit and Bithumb exchanges.

The organization had launched few ransomware attacks against trading platforms it is estimated that You Bit and Bithumb have lost between $30 million and $40 million each.

RUSI says in its report that North Korea may be using the money to purchase luxury goods from overseas sellers, including jewelry and gold.

The document states,

Luxury goods are increasingly accessible using cryptocurrencies. Some high-value goods dealers such as sports car dealerships, jewelers, auctioneers and estate agents now accept payments in cryptocurrencies.

Another threat comes in the form of North Korea’s allegedly expanding fleet of commercial aircraft. Russia’s Tass media agency recently reported that North Korea’s foreign ministry has a newfound interest in purchasing Russian planes.

Sergei Neverov – a deputy vice chairman of the Russian State Duma lower house of parliament – explained in an interview:

At a meeting at the North Korean foreign ministry, we touched upon the issue of civil aviation and flight safety. The North Korean side expressed interest in buying new Russian planes. We maintain air services between Pyongyang and Vladivostok, and naturally, we would like to see more advanced and safer planes serving this route.