• UN report submitted to 15-member North Korea sanctions committee reveals North Korean hackers stole more crypto assets in 2022 than in any other year.
• Cyber attacks are more sophisticated than before, making tracing stolen funds difficult.
• Blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis links North Korean hackers to at least $1.7 billion worth of stolen crypto in 2022, making it the worst-ever year for crypto hacking.
North Korea Stole Record Amounts of Crypto in 2022
A United Nations report submitted to a 15-member North Korea sanctions committee has revealed that North Korean hackers stole more crypto assets in 2022 than any other year. The report found that cyber attacks were becoming increasingly sophisticated and raked in between $630 million and over $1 billion worth of assets last year after targeting networks of foreign aerospace and defense companies.
Cyber Attacks Becoming More Sophisticated
The UN’s independent sanctions monitors noted that the cyber attacks were becoming progressively more complex and harder to trace than before, making it even more difficult for authorities to locate stolen funds. Additionally, a Feb 1st report from blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis linked North Korean hackers to at least $1.7 billion worth of stolen crypto in 2020 – making it the worst-ever year for crypto hacking.
North Korea Exported Goods Worth Only $142 Million Last Year
In comparison to these staggering figures, the UN report highlighted that total exports out of North Korea only amounted up to around $142 million worth of goods last year – an indication of just how much money was illegally obtained through cryptocurrency theft by state-sponsored actors.
Targeting Aerospace & Defense Networks
The UN’s independent sanctions monitors reported that most of the theft involved aerospace and defense networks which held large amounts of digital currency stored as payment or security deposits with firms based overseas – potentially indicating how desperate North Korean entities have become for access to foreign currency due to widespread international sanctions against them due to their nuclear weapons program.
Overall, this recent discovery provides further evidence on how rampant cryptocurrency theft is becoming by groups such as those based out of North Korea – who are using increasingly advanced techniques each day to gain access into digital networks involved with finance and steal information with potential value for their own weapons programmes purposes.